This collection of essays on science and the Royal Society is a gorgeously designed book. The use of pictures and colors throughout is appRating: 6/10
This collection of essays on science and the Royal Society is a gorgeously designed book. The use of pictures and colors throughout is appealing and tasteful.
The best essays are those which focus on the history of the Royal Society itself, and how the elements of science we take for granted today came to be through the genius and work of extraordinary people. I was not familiar with much of this history, and I found it fascinating. For example, the scientific method of gaining knowledge of the world through repeatable tests and measurements seems like common sense in hindsight, but it was in fact worked out over centuries.
Unfortunately, the second half of this book was a disappointment as it lost its focus and direction. The essays turned away from history to more modern issues facing scientists today. Some of these were simply too plain - e.g., a one chapter overview of an issue such as alien life or global warming, when the issue is already well known and the chapter brings nothing to the discussion. Other essays were odd and didn't seem to suit the book.
The final chapter is a rambling conclusion which makes the brain achingly obvious point that science has accomplished much, but that we will need scientists even more as face more complex problems in the 21st century. Who doesn't understand that? This chapter features a picture of an iPhone to illustrate how marvelous science can be, which triggered a rapid rolling of my eyes.
Despite a weak conclusion, I can heartily recommend the opening chapters. The reader can simply read any essays which seem appealing, and at the end have an attractive addition to the old bookshelf....more
This book was far less amusing and more negative than I was hoping it would be. Occasionally it manages to be amusing, but those moments aRating: 3/10
This book was far less amusing and more negative than I was hoping it would be. Occasionally it manages to be amusing, but those moments are not worth following the author's meandering brain dump.
Chuck is smart, and often clever. I've enjoyed some shorter things of his I've read online. But this book is one to skip.
I have a message for the author. The countless hours you once poured into following The Real World are gone. You can't redeem them, no matter how much you continue analyzing the show and attempting to draw something insightful from it. Just let it go! As far as youthful wastefulness goes, it could be far, far worse....more