Friday, June 11, 2010

Seeing Further, the Story of the Science of the Royal Society -- edited by Bill Bryson

The Royal Society was founded by curious scientists able to "see further" to change the world around them. Today it illuminates the vast achievements of modern science and continues to push back the frontiers of knowledge.

Sir David Attenborough

From it's humble beginnings in 1660 where a dozen men came to hear a lecture on astronomy from the young Christopher Wren, it became the most prestigious scientific institution on the world. Wherever you lived, whatever language you spoke, if you loved science this was where you wanted to be.

From the crazy, to the improbable to the downright they looked at everything, were fascinated by everything. Taking nothing for granted. Refusing to be bowed by external politics or wars. Recognising science and not just wealth - a big step in the 1600's - the royal society epitomises scientific thought and discovery.

This book has essays spanning not just the giants of Newton and Darwin, but the birth of modern science, and how this impacted on everything from "pure" maths, to bridge construction, from evolution to the Mars mission. The fascination and the passion and the much fought over methodology. Even the idea of the mad scientist is explored as a reaction to the almost magical way in which science not only changes the landscape, but changes the very perspective from which we see it.

22 authors provide 22 windows into this remarkable institution, from the dusty basements filled with 350 years worth of scientific discovery to the lofty individuals that strode through science turning the world in their wake.

Buy now NZ $49.90 Free postage in NZ

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