Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries

Steven Weinberg

Published by Harvard University Press, 2001
ISBN 10: 0674011201 / ISBN 13: 9780674011205
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Synopsis: The New York Times’s James Glanz has called Steven Weinberg “perhaps the world’s most authoritative proponent of the idea that physics is hurtling toward a ‘final theory,’ a complete explanation of nature’s particles and forces that will endure as the bedrock of all science forevermore. He is also a powerful writer of prose that can illuminate―and sting... He recently received the Lewis Thomas Prize, awarded to the researcher who best embodies ‘the scientist as poet.’” Both the brilliant scientist and the provocative writer are fully present in this book as Weinberg pursues his principal passions, theoretical physics and a deeper understanding of the culture, philosophy, history, and politics of science. Each of these essays, which span fifteen years, struggles in one way or another with the necessity of facing up to the discovery that the laws of nature are impersonal, with no hint of a special status for human beings. Defending the spirit of science against its cultural adversaries, these essays express a viewpoint that is reductionist, realist, and devoutly secular. Each is preceded by a new introduction that explains its provenance and, if necessary, brings it up to date. Together, they afford the general reader the unique pleasure of experiencing the superb sense, understanding, and knowledge of one of the most interesting and forceful scientific minds of our era.

Review: Steven Weinberg isn't ashamed of science. Of course, as a Nobel winner in physics, he does have emotional capital invested in the enterprise, but most of his arguments are sound and compelling. Facing Up is a collection of his essays, written over 15 years, celebrating and defending mainstream science. Rising up against the cultural critics who insist that science is essentially politics or even imperialism dressed up in a white coat, he is patient and eloquent as he explains how their misreadings of scientific literature and their own preconceptions guide their reasoning. From mildly wonkish to endearingly passionate, his writing engages the reader's full attention regardless of cultural affiliation. Science lovers will adore Weinberg's unabashed boosterism, while skeptics can try to rise to his challenge. --Rob Lightner

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Title: Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural ...
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Good
Edition: New Ed.

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Book Description Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England, 2003. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Faint crease to right corner of front cover, faint stain along page edges, pages very lightly toned. xi, 283 pp. "Each of these essays, which span fifteen years, struggles in one way or another with the necessity of facing up to the discovery that the laws of nature are impersonal, with no hint of a special status for human beings. Defending the spirit of science against its cultural adversaries, these essays express a viewpoint that is reductionist, realist, and devoutly secular. Each is preceded by a new introduction that explains its provenance and, if necessary, brings it up to date. Together, they afford the general reader the unique pleasure of experiencing the superb sense, understanding, and knowledge of one of the most interesting and forceful scientific minds of our era."Keywords: SCIENCE STEVEN WEINBERG. Bookseller Inventory # 2197150

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