Today's Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments
Author: Mr. John Brockman
Today's most visionary thinkers reveal the cutting-edge scientific ideas and breakthroughs you must understand. Scientific developments radically change and enlighten our understanding of the world -- whether it's advances in technology and medical research or the latest revelations of neuroscience, psychology, physics, economics, anthropology, climatology, or genetics. And yet amid the flood of information today, it's often difficult to recognize the truly revolutionary ideas that will have lasting impact. In the spirit of identifying the most significant new theories and discoveries, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website" -- The Guardian), asked 198 of the finest minds What do you consider the most interesting recent scientific news? What makes it important? Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond on the best way to understand complex problems * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Carlo Rovelli on the mystery of black holes * Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker on the quantification of human progress * TED Talks curator Chris J. Anderson on the growth of the global brain * Harvard cosmologist Lisa Randall on the true measure of breakthrough discoveries * Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek on why the twenty-first century will be shaped by our mastery of the laws of matter * philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on the underestimation of female genius * music legend Peter Gabriel on tearing down the barriers between imagination and reality * Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson on the surprising ability of small (and cheap) upstarts to compete with billion-dollar projects. Plus Nobel laureate John C. Mather, Sun Microsystems cofounder Bill Joy, Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly, psychologist Alison Gopnik, Genome author Matt Ridley, Harvard geneticist George Church, Why Does the World Exist? author Jim Holt, anthropologist Helen Fisher, and more.
How did science rise up to so dramatically change our world, and where will it take us in the future? This book gives a unique and broad overview. A brief history reveals the major phases and turning points in the rise of science from the earliest civilizations to the present: How was science ‘discovered’? Why did it disappear a few times? When did it become ‘modern’? A critical assessment examines how science actually ‘happens’: the triumphs, the struggles, the mistakes and the luck. Science today is endlessly fascinating, and this book explores the current exponential growth, curiosity-driven vs. goal-oriented research, big and small science, the support of science, the relation of science to society, philosophy and religion, and the benefits and dangers of science. Finally a glimpse into the future: Will the current pace of science continue? Will we ever go backwards (again)? What remains to be discovered? Can science ever be complete? What can we imagine for the distant future? This book will be of wide interest to the general reader as well as to students and working scientists. This book provides a fresh, unique and insightful coverage of the processes of science, its impact on society and our understanding of the world, based on the author’s experience gained from a lifetime in science. Ron Ekers, FRS, CSIRO Fellow, CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science, former President of the International Astronomical Union Peter Shaver's comprehensive and lively survey deserves a wide readership. Scientific discoveries are part of our global culture and heritage, and they underpin our lives. It's fascinating to learn how they were made, and how they fit into the grand scheme. This book isn't just for scientists - it's written for all of us. Martin Rees, FRS, Astronomer Royal, former President of the Royal Society and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge This book offers a wonderfully concise and accessible insight into science – its history, breadth and future prospects. Peter Shaver gives a feeling for what it actually means to be a practicing scientist. Stephen Simpson, FRS, Academic Director, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney
This book examines science fiction's relationship to religion and the sacred through the lens of significant books, films and television shows. It provides a clear account of the larger cultural and philosophical significance of science fiction, and explores its potential sacrality in today's secular world by analyzing material such as Ray Bradbury's classic novel The Martian Chronicles, films The Abyss and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and also the Star Trek universe. Richard Grigg argues that science fiction is born of nostalgia for a truly 'Other' reality that is no longer available to us, and that the most accurate way to see the relationship between science fiction and traditional approaches to the sacred is as an imitation of true sacrality; this, he suggests, is the best option in a secular age. He demonstrates this by setting forth five definitions of the sacred and then, in consecutive chapters, investigating particular works of science fiction and showing just how they incarnate those definitions. Science Fiction and the Imitation of the Sacred also considers the qualifiers that suggest that science fiction can only imitate the sacred, not genuinely replicate it, and assesses the implications of this investigation for our understanding of secularity and science fiction.
Since the heyday of ordinary language philosophy, Anglophone epistemologists have devoted a great deal of attention to the English word 'know' and to English sentences used to attribute knowledge. Even today, many epistemologists, including contextualists and subject-sensitive invariantists are concerned with the truth conditions of "S knows that p," or the proposition it expresses. In all of this literature, the method of cases is used, where a situation is described in English, and then philosophers judge whether it is true that S knows that p, or whether saying "S knows that p" is false, deviant, etc. in that situation. However, English is just one of over 6000 languages spoken around the world, and is the native language of less than 6% of the world's population. When Western epistemology first emerged, in ancient Greece, English did not even exist. So why should we think that facts about the English word "know," the concept it expresses, or subtle semantic properties of "S knows that p" have important implications for epistemology? Are the properties of the English word "know" and the English sentence 'S knows that p' shared by their translations in most or all languages? If that turned out to be true, it would be a remarkable fact that cries out for an explanation. But if it turned out to be false, what are the implications for epistemology? Should epistemologists study knowledge attributions in languages other than English with the same diligence they have shown for the study of English knowledge attributions? If not, why not? In what ways do the concepts expressed by 'know' and its counterparts in different languages differ? And what should epistemologists make of all this? The papers collected here discuss these questions and related issues, and aim to contribute to this important topic and epistemology in general.
Scientific breakthroughs are often regarded with suspicion, especially those that diverge substantially from established theories. New ideas are tested by scientists around the world to ensure that they hold up to scrutiny. This book takes a look at the instances when, despite these precautions, the scientific community got it wrong. The book includes the most infamous cases of fraud and famous mistakes that initially had scientists fooled.
Arranged alphabetically, offers more than sixty entries covering nineteenth-century inventions, experiments, and discoveries including the elevator, the spectroscope, and Pasteur's development of the germ theory.
Broad, humanistic treatment focuses on great figures of chemistry and ideas that revolutionized the science. Much on alchemy, also development of modern chemistry, atomic theory, elements, organic chemistry, more. 50 illustrations.
The International Handbook on Innovation is the most comprehensive and authoritative account available of what innovation is, how it is measured, how it is developed, how it is managed, and how it affects individuals, companies, societies, and the world as a whole. Leading specialists from around the world, responsible for much of the current research in the field, analyze the multidisciplinary and multifaceted nature of innovation, its types and levels, its criteria, its development, its management, its specificity in various domains and contexts, and societal demands on it. They consider innovation from the viewpoints of psychology, management science, business, technology, sociology, philosophy, economics, history, education, art, and public policy. With contributions from over 90 distinguished authors covering 17 nations, readers will obtain expert insight into the latest research and future developments in the field of innovation. The Handbook will present many facets of innovation including its nature, its development, its measurement, its management, and its social, cultural, and historical context. The breadth of this work will allow the reader to acquire a comprehensive and panoramic picture of the nature of innovation within a single handbook. The reader will develop an accurate sense of what spurs potentially creative and innovative people and companies toward their extraordinary achievements and exceptional performances. The handbook can be used as a reference source for those who would like information about a particular topic, or from cover to cover either as a sourcebook or as a textbook in a course dealing with innovation. Anyone interested in knowing the wide range of issues regarding innovation will want to read this handbook. Contributions from over 90 distinguished authors covering 17 nations International in scope, reflecting global perspectives Essential reading for researchers and practitioners in the fields of psychology, management science, business, technology, sociology, philosophy, economics, history, education art, and public policy
This book undertakes a comparative study of the history and development of legislative and administrative systems in operation today for the protection of archaeological monuments. With the exception of Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, no country adopted a positive policy towards the protection and conservation of its archaeological and historical heritage until the twentieth century. Moreover, it was not until the middle of that century, under the threat of wholesale devastation from extensive schemes for social and economic development, that the accelerating disappearance of the sites and monuments of Antiquity became the object of intensive study and legislation. Since then systems of cultural resource management have developed throughout the world. A range of countries (from Europe, America, Asia and Africa) representing a diversity of political and ideological systems - capitalist, socialist and ex-colonial - have been selected as being broadly representative of the variety of these systems. The case studies have been written by distinguished archaeologists and provide critical evaluations of the objectives and shortcomings of these systems.