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Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the…

di Bill Bryson (A cura di)

Altri autori: Margaret Atwood (Collaboratore), Philip Ball (Collaboratore), John D. Barrow (Collaboratore), Gregory Benford (Collaboratore), Paul Davies (Collaboratore)16 altro, Richard Dawkins (Collaboratore), Georgina Ferry (Collaboratore), Richard Fortey (Collaboratore), Maggie Gee (Collaboratore), James Gleick (Collaboratore), Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (Collaboratore), Richard Holmes (Collaboratore), Steve Jones (Collaboratore), Oliver Morton (Collaboratore), Henry Petroski (Collaboratore), Martin Rees (Collaboratore), Simon Schaffer (Collaboratore), Stephen H. Schneider (Collaboratore), Neal Stephenson (Collaboratore), Ian Stewart (Collaboratore), Margaret Wertheim (Collaboratore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
8391318,909 (3.48)26
As editor of "Seeing Further," Bryson has rounded up an extraordinary roster of scientists who write and writers who know science in order to celebrate 350 years of the Royal Society, Britain's scientific national academy. The contributors include Margaret Atwood, Steve Jones, Richard Dawkins, James Gleick, Richard Holmes, and Neal Stephenson, among many others, on subjects ranging from metaphysics to nuclear physics, from the threatened endtimes of flu and climate change to our evolving ideas about the nature of time itself, from the hidden mathematics that rule the universe to the cosmological principle that guides "Star Trek."… (altro)
  1. 00
    Breve storia di (quasi) tutto di Bill Bryson (anthony_agbay)
    anthony_agbay: It's also an exploration of science and scientific thought, but goes much deeper into the history of all the players. It's interesting to know the history and then read some of the thoughts on the people you have just read about.
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5706. Seeing Further The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society, edited by Bill Bryson (read 14 Sep 2020) This 490 page book contains 22 essays by mostly British scholars, on various aspects of science, past and present. I nearly always finish a book I start but almost quit when early on I read an essay which was hard to understand. But the next essay was comprehensible and interesting so I kept reading and finished the book. I will not claim I comprehended all the concepts discussed but there was enough fascinating that I think I got something from the book. Lots of things to think about. ( )
  Schmerguls | Sep 14, 2020 |
A mostly-very-good collection of essays to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society. The contributions by James Gleick, Margaret Atwood, Richard Holmes, Richard Fortey, and Neal Stephenson were those I liked best. ( )
  JBD1 | Jun 23, 2019 |
Right from the start, the dishonesty of the book's title was an extreme aggravation to me. It takes a mildly amusing collection of essays and contorts them into a cheap marketing gimmick - selling them as something more grandiose and more thorough than they really are. I had at least hoped the essays themselves would have had some bearing on the title of the book, though this was frequently not the case.

In broad terms there are really two books here: one, a collection of essays on science and its history (in a simple, popularized format for those of us with slim forebrains) and the other, an assortment of rambling platitudes from the departments of arts&humanities. These belong more to the domain of literary criticism than science - they dwell heavily on personal feelings and attitudes towards science, and make a great deal of irrelevant connections that never seem to come to any point.

For example, though a lot of readers seemed to like the Margaret Atwood essay, I can hardly see why. While tracing out the literary history of the mad scientist, she ultimately reinforces rather than repudiates the cliche, and does little to contrast the stereotype with science actually applied. It is a literary essay wrapped between a host of personal anecdotes and specious ethical dilemmas.

One essay concerns itself almost entirely with theology; another attempts to vindicate some obscure philosophical views of leibnitz with tortured reinterpretations of modern science. it reminded me of religious scholars who pretend to discover modern laws of physics in their antiquated books. One essay harps endlessly on seeing a picture of the earth from outside... and how stultifying it is, for some inexplicable reason. There follows a brief essay on eschatology...

What does science mean to _us_, where is _our_ place in the universe, how can we _cope_ with this knowledge, where does science leave heaven? These sorts of meaningless open-ended questions are better suited to an introductory philosophy course than either a science or a history book, but it characterizes the tenor of many of these essays. Now you may enjoy that sort of thing personally, but it has no bearing on the purported subject of the book, and it doesn't justify its placement on the science shelf of the bookstore.

All that being said, there are a lot of genuinely good essays here, both scientific and historical, that are worth reading. They just deserved a better book. ( )
  the_lemur | Nov 9, 2017 |
This collection included some excellent essays as well as a handful that sagged. I would have appreciated a bit more unity as only very liberally defined threads hold the collection together and very rarely do the authors seem to be in conversation with one another. ( )
  StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
From Bill Bryson's introduction:

The Royal Society...invented scientific publishing and peer review. It made English the primary language of scientific discourse, in place of Latin. It systematised experimentation. It promoted - indeed insisted upon - clarity of expression in place of high-flown rhetoric. It brought together the best thinking from all over the world. It created modern science.

This is not a straightforward history of the Royal Society, as I expected when I picked it up. It's a collection of articles by various notables on sundry subjects of scientific and philosophical interest. As with any collection of writing by different people, I found some of the subjects more interesting and some of the writing more to my taste than others. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Bryson, BillA cura diautore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Atwood, MargaretCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Ball, PhilipCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Barrow, John D.Collaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Benford, GregoryCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Davies, PaulCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Dawkins, RichardCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Ferry, GeorginaCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Fortey, RichardCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Gee, MaggieCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Gleick, JamesCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Goldstein, Rebecca NewbergerCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Holmes, RichardCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Jones, SteveCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Morton, OliverCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Petroski, HenryCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Rees, MartinCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Schaffer, SimonCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Schneider, Stephen H.Collaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Stephenson, NealCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Stewart, IanCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Wertheim, MargaretCollaboratoreautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
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As editor of "Seeing Further," Bryson has rounded up an extraordinary roster of scientists who write and writers who know science in order to celebrate 350 years of the Royal Society, Britain's scientific national academy. The contributors include Margaret Atwood, Steve Jones, Richard Dawkins, James Gleick, Richard Holmes, and Neal Stephenson, among many others, on subjects ranging from metaphysics to nuclear physics, from the threatened endtimes of flu and climate change to our evolving ideas about the nature of time itself, from the hidden mathematics that rule the universe to the cosmological principle that guides "Star Trek."

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