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Publisher's Summary

As the 19th century drew to a close, the age-old quest to understand the physical world appeared to be complete, except for a few minor details. In fact, Albert Michelson, the first American to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences, noted that, "It seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established." And he was far from alone among his peers. Scientists in 1900 had no inkling of the other mind-boggling developments that lay in wait: plate tectonics, genetic engineering, space probes, nanotechnology, big bang theory, electronic computers, nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, and many other astounding products of the human mind. Indeed, by the end of the 20th century, nearly every 19th-century theory of natural and social phenomena would be overthrown or superseded.

This dynamic transformation has not been a matter of revolution, but of evolution, as you'll learn in this fascinating 36-lecture exploration of scientific growth filled with ideas, anecdotes, and insights. You'll see how 20th-century scientists have built on crucial 19th-century concepts such as energy, natural selection, atoms, fields, and waves to assemble a body of knowledge to stun even the most farsighted scientific thinkers of that not-too-distant past.

You'll come away with a new appreciation of how scientific knowledge expands, as Professor Goldman addresses a tremendous range of scientific and technological topics, including science and society, physics, mathematics, psychology, cosmology, telecommunications, meteorology, and archaeology.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

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Average Customer Ratings

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Ochoa

Great way to put in perspective the evolution of scientific works, and assist in acquiring an organized grasp of the most important achievements in scientific history. Professors Goldman is a serious narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Another great course from Goldman

Everything I expected and more, an excellent adventure into science with the reward of wisdom given to anyone who endures ans listens to the end.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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why did I go to school? this book covers everythin

this book covers what's seems to be everything related to science and humanity that is interesting and made me feel like if I could just relisten and pay perfect attention I would be the smartest guy I know

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly entertaining

A fascinating journey across the entire spectrum of sciences covering physical, biological and social discoveries, evolution and innovations. Narration is top notch and content is well presented. Thank you Professor Goldman.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Unquestionably the finest lectures ever listened to from start to completion

Never has a presenter existed to identical mosaic of knowledge, thoughts, & meaningful associations as this superbly informed and impassioned lecturer. To my surprise much new was gained, which included personal aspects found back stories that enhance his given topics. A lecturer for the veraciously interested people who naturally ponder the life they live.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Hard to put down!

Where does Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened to many Great Courses ... this is my favorite to date. Every topic is both interesting and delivered well with a little humour and in a way that is easy to understand.

What other book might you compare Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey to and why?

Cosmos. Inexplicable Universe. Most science Great Courses.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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nicely done

If you could sum up Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey in three words, what would they be?

looking back to look forward.

What other book might you compare Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey to and why?

i need to claim ignorance here. while i have read parts of other books on the history of science - i have not read one completely,.so i do not feel qualified to compare. however reading this book HAS wetted my appetite to read more on this subject.

What does Professor Steven L. Goldman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

a loving and keen interest in the subject matter ! i am a ' self starter ' when it comes to ideas that interest me. reading on my own will stimulate me to ' mentally ' dig into a subject
deeper. with that said it is always so wonderful to listen to or even talk to somebody who has a love affair with a particular aspect of our lives!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

the best is yet to come.

Any additional comments?

what a wonderful read. i plan on reading more on this subject and hope to come accross the good professor again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent lectures

This set of lectures did a great job of bringing out many important elements of the evolution of science and really our entire way of thinking. I especially enjoyed and learned quite a bit about quantum mechanics, an area I’ve always been rather baffled by. His explanations of QED and QCD really helped get a better feel for things quantum.

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Outstanding

Honestly the best TGC I have ever taken. Only time I felt compelled to write a review. Plus the teacher’s voice is great to listen to.

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Wow - life changer!

The lectures focusing more on the humanities didn’t interest me much (I’m a chemist, so it’s not really my field), but the first few lectures regarding relativity theory, quantum theory, the make-up of the universe, etc. (Basically all the pure/physical/chemical science portions) were absolutely mind-blowing.

I learned a bit about quantum theory in university, but clearly not as much as I should have! This book actually made me a little disappointed in the education I received. A lot of what he spoke about was actually quite relevant to what I learned in school (and use at work) and actually improved my understanding of a few subjects.

The parts about subatomic and elementary particles gave me a bit of an existential panic attack, but I’m glad I have a better understanding of what we’re made of.

I think he could have gone a bit deeper into general and special relativity theory, but maybe I just found it harder to grasp because I’m not a theoretical physicist.

His delivery was awesome - I just love his enthusiasm and the urgency in his voice really keeps you focused on his words.

Overall, this book kind of changed my entire perspective on life, matter, and the universe. While it makes you understand how much we’ve learned, it also makes you realize how much we’ve yet to discover and confirm!

Really great course - I will definitely be listening to the first 10 or so lectures again!

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  • professor robin matthews
  • 06-05-17

Excellent. Amazing range. Recommend most highly

Would you consider the audio edition of Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey to be better than the print version?

A fascinating comprehensive overview of modern science.

What does Professor Steven L. Goldman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His intelligent lecturing style. He loves his subject. His ability toi interpret is outstanding

Any additional comments?

I listend 3/4 times. the notes were very good and close to the lectures