Great Essays in Science

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9780879758530: Great Essays in Science

Martin Gardner, author of numerous books on science, mathematics, and pseudo-science, has assembled thirty-four extraordinary essays by eminent philosophers, scientists, and writers on the fundamental aspects of modern science.

As Gardner makes clear in his preface to the formerly titled Sacred Beetle and Other Great Essays in Science, his intent is not to teach the reader science or to report on the latest trends and discoveries. "Rather, the purpose of this book is to spread before the reader, whether his or her interest in science be passionate or mild, a sumptuous feast of great writing - absorbing, thought-disturbing pieces that have something to say about science and say it forcibly and well."

Gardner's entertaining biographical commentaries make Great Essays in Science a rich store of good reading and an informal history of the people and ideas that have shaped our culture and transformed our everyday lives. This collection includes works by Isaac Asimov, Rachel Carson, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Jean Henri Fabre, Sigmund Freud, Stephen Jay Gould, Aldous Huxley, Julian Huxley, William James, Ernest Nagel, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Lewis Thomas, H.G. Wells, and others.

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Review:

In Great Essays in Science Martin Gardner has collected essays by 32 great scientists and science writers. This excellent assortment of well-written, uncut pieces features Albert Einstein on "E=mc2," G. K. Chesterton on "The Logic of Elfland," Sigmund Freud on dreams, and Rachel Carson on the sea. Gardner, one of the best science writers and most insightful readers of the 20th century, thoughtfully introduces each essay. Originally published in 1957 and slightly updated in 1984, this reissued edition is unchanged in providing, as Gardner promises, "absorbing, thought-disturbing pieces that have something important to say about science and say it forcefully and well."

About the Author:

Martin Gardner, the creator of Scientific American’s "Mathematical Games" column, which he wrote for more than twenty-five years, is the author of almost one hundred books, including The Annotated Ancient Mariner, Martin Gardner’s Favorite Poetic Parodies, From the Wandering Jew to William F. Buckley Jr., and Science: Good, Bad and Bogus. For many years he was also a contributing editor to the Skeptical Inquirer.

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