Synopses & Reviews
Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson, with original contributions from "a glittering array of scientific writing talent" (Sunday Observer
) including Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Richard Holmes, Martin Rees, Richard Fortey, Steve Jones, James Gleick, and Neal Stephenson, among others, this incomparable book tells the spectacular story of science and the international Royal Society, from 1660 to the present. Seeing Further
is also gorgeously illustrated with photographs, documents, and treasures from the Society's exclusive archives.
On a damp weeknight in November three hundred and fifty years ago, a dozen men gathered in London. After hearing an obscure twenty-eight-year-old named Christopher Wren lecture on the wonders of astronomy, his rapt audience was moved to create a society to promote the accumulation of usefuland fascinatingknowledge. At that, the Royal Society was born, and with it, modern science.
Since then, the Royal Society has pioneered global scientific exploration and discovery. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix and the electron, and given us the computer and the World Wide Web. Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, John Locke, Alexander Fleming, Stephen Hawkingall have been fellows. Bill Bryson's favorite fellow is the Reverend Thomas Bayes, a brilliant mathematician who devised Bayes' theorem. Its complexity meant that it had little practical use in Bayes' own lifetime, but today his theorem is used for weather forecasting, astrophysics, and even stock-market analysis. A milestone in mathematical history, it exists only because the Royal Society decided to preserve itjust in case.
Truly global in its outlook, the Royal Society now is credited with creating modern science. Seeing Further is an unprecedented celebration of its history and the power of ideas, bringing together the very best of science writing.
“Bill Bryson is as amusing as ever . . . As a celebration of modern science, Seeing Further is a worthy tribute.” The Economist
“Bill Bryson exhibits a wealth of essays on the scientific discoveries and exploits of the Royal Society” Vanity Fair
“A treasure trove for lovers of science and history. These pages brim with revolutionary discoveries.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune (A Best Book of the Year selection)
“Traces the Royal Societys unparalled contributions to science, celebrating not just the famous members like Isaac Newton but also the oddballs.” Discover magazine (Hot Science)
Join Bill Bryson on an unforgettable exploration of scientific genius, discovery, and invention. Edited and introduced by Bryson, with original contributions from “a glittering array of scientific writing talent” (Sunday Observer
), Seeing Further
tells the spectacular story of modern science through the lens of the international Royal Society, founded on a damp November night in London in 1660. Isaac Newton, John Locke, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking—all have been fellows. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix and the electron, and given us the computer and the World Wide Web. Gorgeously illustrated with photographs, documents, and treasures from the Societys exclusive archives, Seeing Further
is an unprecedented celebration of the power of ideas.
Featuring contributions from more than twenty of the worlds greatest scientific—and science-fiction—thinkers, including:
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene; The God Delusion), James Gleick (The Information), Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon), Richard Holmes (The Age of Wonder), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaids Tale), and Martin Rees (former President of the Royal Society).
“Bryson is as amusing as ever….As a celebration of 350 years of modern science, [Seeing Further] it is a worthy tribute.”
In Seeing Further, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson takes readers on a guided tour through the great discoveries, feuds, and personalities of modern science. Already a major bestseller in the UK, Seeing Further tells the fascinating story of science and the Royal Society with Bill Brysons trademark wit and intelligence, and contributions from a host of well known scientists and science fiction writers, including Richard Dawkins, Neal Stephenson, James Gleick, and Margret Atwood. It is a delightful literary treat from the acclaimed author who previous explored the current state of scientific knowledge in his phenomenally popular book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.
About the Author
Bill Bryson is the New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods, The Lost Continent, The Mother Tongue, Neither Here Nor There, Made in America, Notes from a Small Island, Notes from a Big Country, Down Under, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Shakespeare: The World as Stage, At Home, and A Short History of Nearly Everything, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, won the Aventis Prize for Science Books, and was awarded the Descartes Science Communication Prize. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson now lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and four children.