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What Science Is and How It Works (99 Edition)

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What Science Is and How It Works (99 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries happen? Why are cold fusion and parapsychology different from mainstream science? What is a scientific worldview? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry talks about these and other questions as he introduces the reader to the process of scientific thinking. From the discovery of X rays and semiconductors to the argument for continental drift to the invention of the smallpox vaccine, scientific work has proceeded through honest observation, critical reasoning, and sometimes just plain luck. Derry starts out with historical examples, leading readers through the events, experiments, blind alleys, and thoughts of scientists in the midst of discovery and invention. Readers at all levels will come away with an enriched appreciation of how science operates and how it connects with our daily lives.

An especially valuable feature of this book is the actual demonstration of scientific reasoning. Derry shows how scientists use a small number of powerful yet simple methods--symmetry, scaling, linearity, and feedback, for example--to construct realistic models that describe a number of diverse real-life problems, such as drug uptake in the body, the inner workings of atoms, and the laws of heredity.

Science involves a particular way of thinking about the world, and Derry shows the reader that a scientific viewpoint can benefit most personal philosophies and fields of study. With an eye to both the power and limits of science, he explores the relationships between science and topics such as religion, ethics, and philosophy. By tackling the subject of science from all angles, including the nuts and bolts of the trade as well as its place in the overall scheme of life, the book provides a perfect place to start thinking like a scientist.

Synopsis:

"An outstanding book by a very fine writer. What Science Is and How It Works delves into the nature of science and along the way meanders into many interesting subjects. It represents a significant contribution in making science more accessible to the layperson."--Robert Ehrlich, author of Nine Crazy Ideas in Science

"Gregory Derry has identified accurately and completely the essential elements of what makes science interesting and what characterizes scientific reasoning. He illustrates his points with well-chosen examples of people, issues, and phenomena."--Mark P. Silverman, author of Waves and Grains: Reflections on Light and Learning

Synopsis:

How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries happen? Why are cold fusion and parapsychology different from mainstream science? What is a scientific worldview? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry talks about these and other questions as he introduces the reader to the process of scientific thinking. From the discovery of X rays and semiconductors to the argument for continental drift to the invention of the smallpox vaccine, scientific work has proceeded through honest observation, critical reasoning, and sometimes just plain luck. Derry starts out with historical examples, leading readers through the events, experiments, blind alleys, and thoughts of scientists in the midst of discovery and invention. Readers at all levels will come away with an enriched appreciation of how science operates and how it connects with our daily lives.

An especially valuable feature of this book is the actual demonstration of scientific reasoning. Derry shows how scientists use a small number of powerful yet simple methods--symmetry, scaling, linearity, and feedback, for example--to construct realistic models that describe a number of diverse real-life problems, such as drug uptake in the body, the inner workings of atoms, and the laws of heredity.

Science involves a particular way of thinking about the world, and Derry shows the reader that a scientific viewpoint can benefit most personal philosophies and fields of study. With an eye to both the power and limits of science, he explores the relationships between science and topics such as religion, ethics, and philosophy. By tackling the subject of science from all angles, including the nuts and bolts of the trade as well as its place in the overall scheme of life, the book provides a perfect place to start thinking like a scientist.

Table of Contents

PREFACE ix

PROLOGUE What Is Science? 3

PART I. EXPLORING THE FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE: HOW NEW DISCOVERIES ARE MADE IN THE SCIENCES 9

CHAPTER 1 A Bird's Eye View: The Many Routes to Scientific Discovery 11

CHAPTER 2 Nature's jigsaw: Looking for Patterns As a Key to Discovery 26

CHAPTER 3 New Vistas: Expanding Our World with Instrumentation 35

CHAPTER 4 Close, But No Cigar: Discrepancies As a Trigger to Discovery 42

CHAPTER 5 Ingredients for a Revolution: Thematic Imagination, Precise Measurements, and the Motions of the Planets 52

PART II. MENTAL TACTICS: SOME DISTINCTIVELY SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES TO THE WORLD 67

CHAPTER 6 A Universe in a Bottle: Models, Modeling, and Successive Approximation 69

CHAPTER 7 Thinking Straight: Evidence, Reason, and Critical Evaluation 89

CHAPTER 8 The Numbers Game: Uses of Quantitative Reasoning 107

PART III. LARGER QUESTIONS: THE CONTEXT OF SCIENCE 123

CHAPTER 9 Ultimate Questions: Science and Religion 125

CHAPTER 10 More Practical Questions: Science and Society 133

CHAPTER 11 Difficult and Important Questions: Science, Values, and Ethics 145

CHAPTER 12 Questions of Authenticity: Science, Pseudoscience, and How to Tell the Difference 158

CHAPTER 13 Contentious Questions: The Shadowy Borderlands of Science 174

CHAPTER 14 Very Abstract Questions: The Philosophy of Science 189

CHAPTER 15 Questions of Legitimacy: The Postmodern Critique of Science 207

PART IV COMMON GROUND: SOME UNIFYING CONCEPTS IN THE SCIENCES 215

CHAPTER 16 Fleas and Giants: Some Fascinating Insights about Area, Volume, and Size 217

CHAPTER 17 The Edge of the Abyss: Order and Disorder in the Universe 230

CHAPTER 18 Riding Blake's Tiger: Symmetry in Science, Art, and Mathematics 252

CHAPTER 19 The Straight and Narrow: Linear Dependence in the Sciences 274

CHAPTER 20 The Limits of the Possible: Exponential Growth and Decay 285

CHAPTER 21 In the Loop: Feedback, Homeostasis, and Cybernetics 295

EPILOGUE So, What Is Science? 303

INDEX 305

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691095509
Author:
Derry, Gregory Neil
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Derry, Gregory N.
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Biological Sciences.
Subject:
Chemistry
Subject:
Applied Science and Engineering
Subject:
History of Science-General
Subject:
e
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Scienc
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
v. 7
Publication Date:
March 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 illus.
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

What Science Is and How It Works (99 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.00 In Stock
Product details 328 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691095509 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "An outstanding book by a very fine writer. What Science Is and How It Works delves into the nature of science and along the way meanders into many interesting subjects. It represents a significant contribution in making science more accessible to the layperson."--Robert Ehrlich, author of Nine Crazy Ideas in Science

"Gregory Derry has identified accurately and completely the essential elements of what makes science interesting and what characterizes scientific reasoning. He illustrates his points with well-chosen examples of people, issues, and phenomena."--Mark P. Silverman, author of Waves and Grains: Reflections on Light and Learning

"Synopsis" by , How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries happen? Why are cold fusion and parapsychology different from mainstream science? What is a scientific worldview? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry talks about these and other questions as he introduces the reader to the process of scientific thinking. From the discovery of X rays and semiconductors to the argument for continental drift to the invention of the smallpox vaccine, scientific work has proceeded through honest observation, critical reasoning, and sometimes just plain luck. Derry starts out with historical examples, leading readers through the events, experiments, blind alleys, and thoughts of scientists in the midst of discovery and invention. Readers at all levels will come away with an enriched appreciation of how science operates and how it connects with our daily lives.

An especially valuable feature of this book is the actual demonstration of scientific reasoning. Derry shows how scientists use a small number of powerful yet simple methods--symmetry, scaling, linearity, and feedback, for example--to construct realistic models that describe a number of diverse real-life problems, such as drug uptake in the body, the inner workings of atoms, and the laws of heredity.

Science involves a particular way of thinking about the world, and Derry shows the reader that a scientific viewpoint can benefit most personal philosophies and fields of study. With an eye to both the power and limits of science, he explores the relationships between science and topics such as religion, ethics, and philosophy. By tackling the subject of science from all angles, including the nuts and bolts of the trade as well as its place in the overall scheme of life, the book provides a perfect place to start thinking like a scientist.

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