The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolution (New York Public Library Lectures in Humanities)

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9780195139228: The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolution (New York Public Library Lectures in Humanities)

In this visionary look into the future, Freeman Dyson argues that technological changes fundamentally alter our ethical and social arrangements and that three rapidly advancing new technologies--solar energy, genetic engineering, and world-wide communication--together have the potential to create a more equal distribution of the world's wealth.

Dyson begins by rejecting the idea that scientific revolutions are primarily concept driven. He shows rather that new tools are more often the sparks that ignite scientific discovery. Such tool-driven revolutions have profound social consequences--the invention of the telescope turning the Medieval world view upside down, the widespread use of household appliances in the 1950s replacing servants, to cite just two examples. In looking ahead, Dyson suggests that solar energy, genetics, and the Internet will have similarly transformative effects, with the potential to produce a more just and equitable society. Solar power could bring electricity to even the poorest, most remote areas of third world nations, allowing everyone access to the vast stores of information on the Internet and effectively ending the cultural isolation of the poorest countries. Similarly, breakthroughs in genetics may well enable us to give our children healthier lives and grow more efficient crops, thus restoring the economic and human vitality of village cultures devalued and dislocated by the global market.

Written with passionate conviction about the ethical uses of science, The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet is both a brilliant reinterpretation of the scientific process and a challenge to use new technologies to close, rather than widen, the gap between rich and poor.

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One fashionable school of thought holds that scientific revolutions are spurred primarily by shifts in the basic concepts that science understands the world with, and that those shifts are largely the outcome of struggles in the social and political realms. Freeman Dyson, however, is having none of it. For him, scientific breakthroughs owe just as much to the introduction of new technologies--the telescope in early modern Europe, for instance; the computer more recently. He's not the first to make that argument, but his lifetime of accomplishments as an eminent theoretical physicist puts some heft behind his claims.

Dyson likewise argues that new technologies can have as much of an effect on the social and political realms as new ideologies do. In particular, he cites three burgeoning technologies--solar energy, genetic engineering, and the Internet--for their potential to affect a more equitable worldwide distribution of wealth and power in the coming century. His visions of the future meander a bit, and they include such seemingly outlandish possibilities as forests of genetically enhanced trees oozing high-octane fuel from their roots and laser-launched earthlings colonizing the comets of the Kuiper Belt. But it's the business of visionaries to be outlandish, after all, and you have to admit: this one does have better credentials than most. --Julian Dibbell

About the Author:


Freeman Dyson is Professor Emeritus of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. He is the author of Disturbing the Universe, Infinite in All Directions, Weapons and Hope, and many other books. He is a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award and The Phi Beta Kappa Award in science, among many other honors. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this visionary look into the future, Freeman Dyson argues that technological changes fundamentally alter our ethical and social arrangements and that three rapidly advancing new technologies - solar energy, genetic engineering, and worldwide communication - together have the potential to create a more equal distribution of the world s wealth. Dyson begins by rejecting the idea that scientific revolutions are primarily concept driven. He shows rather that new tools are more often the sparks that ignite scientific discovery. Such tool-driven revolutions have profound social consequences: the invention of the telescope turning the medieval view of the world upside down, the widespread use of household appliances in the 1950s replacing servants, to cite just two examples. In looking ahead, Dyson suggests that solar energy, genetics, and the Internet will have similarly transformative effects, with the potential to produce a more just and equitable society. Solar power could bring electricity to even the poorest, most remote areas of third-world nations, allowing everyone access to the vast stores of information on the Internet and effectively ending the cultural isolation of the poorest countries. Similarly, breakthroughs in genetics may well enable us to give our children healthier lives and grow more efficient crops, thus restoring the economic and human vitality of village cultures devalued and dislocated by the global market. Written with passionate conviction about the ethical uses of science, The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet is both a brilliant reinterpretation of the scientific process and a challenge to use new technologies to close, rather than widen, the gap between rich and poor. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195139228

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this visionary look into the future, Freeman Dyson argues that technological changes fundamentally alter our ethical and social arrangements and that three rapidly advancing new technologies - solar energy, genetic engineering, and worldwide communication - together have the potential to create a more equal distribution of the world s wealth. Dyson begins by rejecting the idea that scientific revolutions are primarily concept driven. He shows rather that new tools are more often the sparks that ignite scientific discovery. Such tool-driven revolutions have profound social consequences: the invention of the telescope turning the medieval view of the world upside down, the widespread use of household appliances in the 1950s replacing servants, to cite just two examples. In looking ahead, Dyson suggests that solar energy, genetics, and the Internet will have similarly transformative effects, with the potential to produce a more just and equitable society. Solar power could bring electricity to even the poorest, most remote areas of third-world nations, allowing everyone access to the vast stores of information on the Internet and effectively ending the cultural isolation of the poorest countries. Similarly, breakthroughs in genetics may well enable us to give our children healthier lives and grow more efficient crops, thus restoring the economic and human vitality of village cultures devalued and dislocated by the global market. Written with passionate conviction about the ethical uses of science, The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet is both a brilliant reinterpretation of the scientific process and a challenge to use new technologies to close, rather than widen, the gap between rich and poor. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195139228

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 144 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.4in. x 0.4in.In this visionary look into the future, Freeman Dyson argues that technological changes fundamentally alter our ethical and social arrangements and that three rapidly advancing new technologies--solar energy, genetic engineering, and world-wide communication--together have the potential to create a more equal distribution of the worlds wealth. Dyson begins by rejecting the idea that scientific revolutions are primarily concept driven. He shows rather that new tools are more often the sparks that ignite scientific discovery. Such tool-driven revolutions have profound social consequences--the invention of the telescope turning the Medieval world view upside down, the widespread use of household appliances in the 1950s replacing servants, to cite just two examples. In looking ahead, Dyson suggests that solar energy, genetics, and the Internet will have similarly transformative effects, with the potential to produce a more just and equitable society. Solar power could bring electricity to even the poorest, most remote areas of third world nations, allowing everyone access to the vast stores of information on the Internet and effectively ending the cultural isolation of the poorest countries. Similarly, breakthroughs in genetics may well enable us to give our children healthier lives and grow more efficient crops, thus restoring the economic and human vitality of village cultures devalued and dislocated by the global market. Written with passionate conviction about the ethical uses of science, The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet is both a brilliant reinterpretation of the scientific process and a challenge to use new technologies to close, rather than widen, the gap between rich and poor. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780195139228

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