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The Joy of Science | [The Great Courses, Robert M. Hazen]

The Joy of Science

Science is humanity's greatest achievement. It ranges from the study of the universe itself to the smallest particles of matter contained within it - and everything in between. If you want to better understand our physical world, as most of us do, gaining a basic understanding of science itself is profoundly important - yet many are intimidated by the breathtaking scope of such an endeavor. Now an award-winning science teacher has taken out the intimidation, harnessing that breathtaking scope into a series of 60 exciting, comprehensive, and accessible lectures.
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Publisher's Summary

Science is humanity's greatest achievement. It ranges from the study of the universe itself to the smallest particles of matter contained within it - and everything in between. It explores everything from the big bang to theories about the end of the universe.

If you want to better understand our physical world, as most of us do, gaining a basic understanding of science itself is profoundly important - yet many are intimidated by the breathtaking scope of such an endeavor.

Now an award-winning science teacher has taken out the intimidation, harnessing that breathtaking scope into a series of 60 exciting, comprehensive, and accessible lectures that let you explore and understand the wealth of ideas, discoveries, and principles in all of the physical and biological sciences. You learn that understanding science comes from understanding not only its component disciplines - each of which has its own theories, pioneers, problems, and fundamental questions - but of knowing how these disciplines work with one another to create an entire mosaic of human knowledge.

The lectures have been crafted to make those relationships crystal-clear, with an integrated approach that takes you through all of the major disciplines that fall under the umbrella of "science," including physics, chemistry, Earth science, geophysics, and biology.

Each lecture covers one of the 60 fundamental principles of the scientific world - offering you new knowledge and insight into topics such as the scientific method, gravitation, atoms, the big bang, plate tectonics, volcanoes, proteins, ecosystems, and electricity.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 09-30-13
    Mark Raglan, New Zealand 09-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Back to school"

    I knew when I downloaded this book that I was being a bit of a nerd, using up time that could have been spent listening to riveting fiction swotting up on chemistry, biology and physics. But I couldn’t resist it. Science is a big part of my job (I work in an intensive care unit) but I didn't opt for science at school, and although I know a fair amount about human biology I’m really aware of fundamental gaps in my knowledge concerning the basic sciences underpinning biology and science in general. This lecture series has definitely helped to fill those gaps.

    He’s a pretty good lecturer, with a very good knack for explaining complex concepts using simple, helpful analogies. And the series is thoughtfully constructed so that it begins with the most fundamental concepts in science and then builds on this so that the listener acquires an overview of all human scientific endeavour by the end of the series.

    Downsides? Well, it’s pretty old. These recordings were made in the 1990s, and whilst the basics of science haven’t changed significantly in those 20 years, you do keep wondering whether some of the modern scientific topics he mentions are still current (e.g. the large hadron collider and recent advances in medicine). He talks about global warming as if it’s just some controversial new theory that some scientists are working on, and the internet isn’t mentioned at all.

    If you can tolerate the fact that it is dated and you want to learn more about the fundamentals of science, you should get this book. It is also great value, with 60 lectures for your one Audible credit.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabrielle 11-19-13
    Gabrielle 11-19-13 Member Since 2012
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    "beautiful and exciting"
    If you could sum up The Joy of Science in three words, what would they be?

    comprehensive, understandable, exciting


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I never realised that Faraday was so cool.


    Any additional comments?

    This course was excellent - it was comprehensive and enthralling and I learned so very much even though I already had a good understanding of science already. The details on various subjects are great for linking ideas across fields and the snippets of history told throughout contextualise the scientists and their discoveries beautifully so that the information is easy to remember and place. I loved this course, it was entertaining and I had so much to think about and talk about as a result of listening to it. Whether you have studied no science at school or have always been interested in science, this is a very good place to start your journey. It was indeed a 'joy'.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 07-31-13
    Steven 07-31-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great course, but a bit dated."
    Where does The Joy of Science rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really enjoyed the course, but a lot of the course's mentioned projects have been completed, and there is a great deal that is missing...since this just came out, I was assuming it would be more current.


    If you’ve listened to books by The Great Courses before, how does this one compare?

    This is the best course of the three I have listened to.


    Any additional comments?

    I find Dr. Hazen is very good at explaining complex material. I read his book on scientific literacy, and it is a great place to start on many subjects.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mat J Monk 09-11-14
    Mat J Monk 09-11-14
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    "Very comprehensive"
    What made the experience of listening to The Joy of Science the most enjoyable?

    This is probably my 10th or 11th Great Courses audiobook that I've gotten and it has kept up the tradition of being both informative and interesting. The only downside to the course is that it appears to have been recorded over a decade ago and things that Professor Hazen mentions as being things to watch in the future have already been done and in some cases are "old" news. But the depth of material is outstanding and very well organized.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The sheer scope of all the scientific disciplines. The least interesting is the references to the visual materials that are not available with the Audible edition of the book.


    What does Professor Robert M. Hazen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Down to earth way of explaining the various subjects with just enough technical details to not make it seem like he's presenting a children's book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    At 30 hours, not a chance!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy Wolfe Kansas City, Missouri United States 12-16-14
    Christy Wolfe Kansas City, Missouri United States 12-16-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Jr. High level science overview"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and Robert M. Hazen and/or Professor Robert M. Hazen?

    I might. He seems a little condescending and chirrup-y, as if speaking to someone for whom he has good intentions but little respect.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses and Robert M. Hazen again?

    I love The Great Courses and have listened to literally dozens of lecture series. Their approach generally presumes listeners possess a basic level of pre-existing knowledge on the subject matter.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator may not be to blame - it's the subject matter and breadth I found lacking.


    Do you think The Joy of Science needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    In my opinion this particular lecture series covers less information, in more simplified detail, than most people learn in high school.


    Any additional comments?

    This lecture seems directed to children or maybe older folks who haven't taken a science course for many, many years and perhaps haven't kept up with recent advancements. Maybe it's directed to science detractors, such as creationists, but nonetheless it seems very simple compared to other courses I've heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Navy Dad 12-27-14
    Navy Dad 12-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Refresher!"
    If you could sum up The Joy of Science in three words, what would they be?

    Comprehensive, Succinct, Fun


    Any additional comments?

    As a practicing engineer and mathematician, this work is an excellent walk through most of the important topics in all science. Presented at a depth a bit challenging for those not familiar with these topics (my kids ages 9 - 17 had mixed reactions) but I felt tough enough to challenge the knowledgeable and paced to allow others to keep up or at least wet their appetite for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Gharper
    12/3/14
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    "Fantastic. I know so much science now!"

    Given that there are so many lectures, some sections are undoubtedly more interesting than others. I particularly enjoyed the stuff about chemistry and genetics. Everything scientific I can think it would be worth knowing about is covered!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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