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
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.
comprehensive, understandable, exciting
I never realised that Faraday was so cool.
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'.
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.
This is the best course of the three I have listened to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At 30 hours, not a chance!
I might. He seems a little condescending and chirrup-y, as if speaking to someone for whom he has good intentions but little respect.
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.
The narrator may not be to blame - it's the subject matter and breadth I found lacking.
In my opinion this particular lecture series covers less information, in more simplified detail, than most people learn in high school.
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.
Comprehensive, Succinct, Fun
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.
"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!
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