From the revolutionary discoveries of Galileo and Newton to the mind-bending theories of Einstein and Heisenberg, from plate tectonics to particle physics, from the origin of life to universal entropy, and from biology to cosmology, here is a sweeping, readable, and dynamic account of the whole of Western science.
In the approachable manner and method of Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan, the late Brian L. Silver translates our most important, and often most obscure, scientific developments into a vernacular that is not only accessible and illuminating but also enjoyable. Silver makes his comprehensive case with much clarity and insight; his book aptly locates science as the apex of human reason, and reason as our best path to the truth. For all readers curious about--or else perhaps intimidated by--what Silver calls "the scientific campaign up to now" in his Preface, The Ascent of Science will be fresh, vivid, and fascinating reading.
"Like a good tour book, [this volume] takes us to all the principle locations in the realm and shows us not only what's to be found there, but also its history, its effect on history, philosophy, technology and society, and vignettes about local heroes....A comprehensive, balanced, informative and charming book....For [those] curious to know what science is really all about, this book makes very good one-stop shopping."-- The New York Times Book Review
"Silver's writing is a rich mix of details and generalities, of abstract concepts and personal glimpses. He invites the reader to sit at his knee while he reflects upon what has happened and up on the implications, perhaps, yet to be seen. He takes great care to weave a background picture around each event, that creates well-directed stories which leave the reader wanting more....Stories of discoveries in physics and chemistry are told with clarity and
insight."--The American Biology Teacher "Like a good tour book, [this volume] takes us to all the principle locations in the realm and shows us not only what's to be found there, but also its history, its effect on history, philosophy, technology and society, and vignettes about local heroes.... A
comprehensive, balanced, informative and charming book.... For [those] curious to know what science is really all about, this book makes very good one-stop shopping."-- The New York Times Book Review
"For anyone interested in but intimidated by the scientific enterprise, The Ascent of Science provides an inviting assessment of the discipline. That it does so without diminishing either the complexity or the awe-inspiring power of science is a major accomplishment, one that opens the door to humanity's greatest intellectual adventure and reveals the many ways in which science has altered the way we see the world and ourselves."--Research and
"Confident but not arrogant, comprehensive, thought-provoking, and very well written. Silver has given us one of the most stimulating overviews of science in recent years."--Kirkus Reviews
"Considering the in-depth, comprehensive character of this overview of the scientific enterprise, the accessibility of Silver's narrative is remarkable."--Booklist
"Silver does more than explain scientific achievements with wit and grace: For him, science is fun. In this spirit, he leads a whirlwind tour through the wondrous worlds of molecular biology, animal evolution, quantum mechanics, and relativity."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A book commendable for its breadth, depth, and vision, conveying effectively the intellectual majesty and cold-blooded rational rigor of science, with erudition and sensitivity. Highly recommended to all undergraduate science students."--Science & Technology
"Silver shows the intellectual and philosophical underpinnings of the scientist's quest for knowledge. His writing style is nothing less than charming."--Ben Bova,Courant