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Description - The Age of Science by Gerard Piel

When historians of the future come to examine western civilization in the twentieth century, one area of intellectual accomplishment will stand out above all others: more than any other era before it, the twentieth century was an age of science. Not only were the practical details of daily life radically transformed by the application of scientific discoveries, but our very sense of who we are, how our minds work, how our world came to be, how it works and our proper role in it, our ultimate origins, and our ultimate fate were all influenced by scientific thinking as never before in human history.In The Age of Science, the former editor and publisher of Scientific American gives us a sweeping overview of the scientific achievements of the twentieth century, with chapters on the fundamental forces of nature, the subatomic world, cosmology, the cell and molecular biology, earth history and the evolution of life, and human evolution. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a book for the connoisseur: an elegant, informative, magisterial summation of one of the twentieth century's greatest cultural achievements.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465057559
ISBN-10: 0465057551
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 194mm x 36mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 4-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - The Age of Science by Gerard Piel

Book Reviews - The Age of Science by Gerard Piel

US Kirkus Review » The former publisher of "Scientific American "undertakes a summary of the state of knowledge as a new century gets underway. After a brief introduction describing the genesis of the modern "Scientific American "in the years after WWII as a science magazine for the general reader, Piel points out that, to the scientist, the relevance of a discovery or theory to the world at large never really comes up. Science is, to a scientist, its own justification. But everyone has at one time or another wondered how the universe began, how life originated, and how it will all end. These questions have fascinated the best minds in our era as in earlier ones, but only now can our answers satisfy strict scientific criteria: above all, the primacy of observation, the rejection of the metaphysical, and the need to present one's results for verification. Modern science began with the extension of the range of human senses by means of such instruments as the telescope, the microscope, and various electronic detection devices. In the 20th century, as the power and scope of those instruments dramatically increased, the universe became both clearer and stranger. Relativity and quantum theory brought elements of the paradoxical into the seemingly hard surface of reality. The astronomers' gaze into deep space, in wavelengths invisible to the eye, revealed vast energies at play and huge vistas of time. And the light shed by the new physics on the processes of chemistry gave birth to molecular biology, above all the discovery of the DNA molecule's role in the nature of life on our planet. True to the mission he mapped out for his magazine, Piel is always aware of the general reader's needs, and takes care to outline basic principles as well as the broader implications of the discoveries he describes. Clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Gerard Piel

Gerard Piel was a founder of the revived Scientific American and served as its publisher from 1948 until his retirement in 1986. He lives in New York City.

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