This book gave me a perspective on the development of science and rational thinking over the last few millenia, and last few centuries. It is read with interest and thought and humour, and gave researched background into the figures of history that generated the theories we live by. It makes my life richer to have this contextual understanding of how the universe works and how the world of the Royal Society works. Martin Reese, immediate past president, is one of my heroes.
Galileo was quite a character and made me laugh to hear about.
Alan reads with insight and humour.
The book does a very good job of explaining the context of the beginnings of what we call the "Scientific Revolution". Unfortunately, it makes the jump from the Greeks to the Europeans of the 17th Century without even mentioning that many of those later Europeans relied upon Islamic thinkers like Ibn Alhazen.
I am happy that I got this book. It gave an enjoyable account of some of the most influential scientific discoveries in the 17th century. It didn't get too technical, and so was easy to listen to without getting lost.
While I was vaguely familiar with many of the accounts of these discoveries, it was enlightening to hear pieces of journal entries or letters that describe the events first-hand.
The performance in this book is quite good, but the story is weak, especially given the fact that the science is not particularly well explained. While many concepts are touched upon, the true revolutionary nature of the ideas is lost as is the sense of the scope of the discoveries as they are not well explained or demonstrated. It's scientific history without the science and without the science to make the story interesting, it's not a great tale.
on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...
Well-written science nonfiction is a treat that I relish and this book delivers in spades. Newton is the book's main focal point but it also spends considerable time detailing the contributions of Galileo, Kepler, Leibniz, Hook, Leeuwenhoek and others. The description of calculus was clear and even, I have to admit, compelling (I have a BA rather than a BS because I refused to take calculus). The religious devotion of these pioneers was surprising and Dolnick does a nice job of pointing out the irony of the effects Newton and Leibniz' work on religion and society.
I had put off purchasing this one because I disliked Alan Sklar's reading of "Before the Dawn" but I really liked his narration with this one. He tends to chuckle from time to time and sound a bit like a bombastic professor but that worked in a way here that it didn't in the other book.
If you have an interest in the history of science, especially the early days, I can heartily recommend this book's pleasing blend of narrative and scientific explanation.
In the 1600s curiosity was looked upon as a sin, trying to unveil the mind of God. Progress was viewed likewise, trying to improve upon the world God had provided. As miserable as their lives were and as horrible as the fate that followed death, people of those days believe "this is the best of all possible worlds." This mindset prevailed for 1,000 years. Fortunately for us, around 1660 there arose a small band of "natural philosophers" who enjoyed experimenting and thinking about the natural world. Isaac Newton, was the genius among them, although his ideas almost didn't get written down, he was so neurotic and anti-social and self-angrandizing. This book's beautifully written and read, very easy to follow. There are a few other books that have changed or enlarged my worldview this much. "How the mind works," by Stephen Pinker, "A short history of nearly everything," by Bill Bryson, and "Longitude," by Dava Sobel come to mind. This book is right up there with them.
Sure, I think this audio book was highly informative and I am positive I would learn something new if I listened to it again.
I picked it up because I was reading, the
He had a pleasing voice
No extreme reactions.
Great book that gives you a nice timeline of the era.
The topic had promise but the book was rambling, disorganized and, well, just plain dull. The reader tried hard but his enthusiasm was strained. Oh well....
just dreadful. injects chuckles into his reading at the funny bits. tries to sound like a wise old man. ew. good book though.
Say something about yourself!
The title is exciting and the first chapter paints a good introduction into life in the 1660s but thereafter it is very, very slow. The info is repeated and reads like an advert for the Royal Society.