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Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution

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Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With the recent landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, it seems safe to assume that the idea of being curious is alive and well in modern scienceandmdash;that itandrsquo;s not merely encouraged but is seen as an essential component of the scientific mission. Yet there was a time when curiosity was condemned. Neither Pandora nor Eve could resist the dangerous allure of unanswered questions, and all knowledge wasnandrsquo;t equalandmdash;for millennia it was believed that there were some things we should not try to know. In the late sixteenth century this attitude began to change dramatically, and in Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Philip Ball investigates how curiosity first became sanctionedandmdash;when it changed from a vice to a virtue and how it became permissible to ask any and every question about the world.
and#160;
Looking closely at the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Ball vividly brings to life the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. In this entertaining and illuminating account of the rise of science as we know it, Ball tells of scientists both legendary and lesser known, from Copernicus and Kepler to Robert Boyle, as well as the inventions and technologies that were inspired by curiosity itself, such as the telescope and the microscope. The so-called Scientific Revolution is often told as a story of great geniuses illuminating the world with flashes of inspiration. But Curiosity reveals a more complex story, in which the liberationandmdash;and subsequent tamingandmdash;of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade, and empire. Ball also asks what has become of curiosity today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged for consumption, how well it is being sustained, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may continue to ask.
and#160;
Though proverbial wisdom tell us that it was through curiosity that our innocence was lost, that has not deterred us. Instead, it has been completely the contrary: today we spend vast sums trying to reconstruct the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of a pure desire to know. Ball refuses to let us take this desire for granted, and this book is a perfect homage to such an inquisitive attitude.

About the Author

Lisa Jardine is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, and Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385720014
Editor:
Jardine, Lisa
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Author:
Jardine, Lisa
Author:
Ball, Philip
Location:
New York
Subject:
Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
Technology
Subject:
Renaissance
Subject:
Science, Renaissance
Subject:
World History - Medieval and Renaissance
Subject:
science;history;history of science;non-fiction;enlightenment;scientific revolution;17th century;royal society;history of ideas;renaissance;europe
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
no. 69
Publication Date:
20001231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
131 HALFTONES THROUGHOUT
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.3 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution New Trade Paper
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