Science: A Four Thousand Year History

Paperback | March 11, 2010

byPatricia Fara

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Science: A Four Thousand Year History rewrites science's past. Instead of focussing on difficult experiments and abstract theories, Patricia Fara shows how science has always belonged to the practical world of war, politics, and business. Rather than glorifying scientists as idealized heroes,she tells true stories about real people - men (and some women) who needed to earn their living, who made mistakes, and who trampled down their rivals in their quest for success. Fara sweeps through the centuries, from ancient Babylon right up to the latest hi-tech experiments in genetics and particle physics, illuminating the financial interests, imperial ambitions, and publishing enterprises that have made science the powerful global phenomenon that it is today. She alsoranges internationally, illustrating the importance of scientific projects based around the world, from China to the Islamic empire, as well as the more familiar tale of science in Europe, from Copernicus to Charles Darwin and beyond. Above all, this four thousand year history challenges scientific supremacy, arguing controversially that science is successful not because it is always right - but because people have said that it is right.

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Science: A Four Thousand Year History rewrites science's past. Instead of focussing on difficult experiments and abstract theories, Patricia Fara shows how science has always belonged to the practical world of war, politics, and business. Rather than glorifying scientists as idealized heroes,she tells true stories about real people - m...

Patricia Fara lectures in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and is the Senior Tutor of Clare College. Her major research speciality is eighteenth-century England, but she has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science, increasingly with an emphasis on analysing scientif...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.04 inPublished:March 11, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199580278

ISBN - 13:9780199580279

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Origins1. Sevens2. Babylon3. Heroes4. Cosmos5. Life6. Matter7. TechnologyPart II: Interactions8. Eurocentrism9. China10. Islam11. Scholarship12. Europe13. Aristotle14. AlchemyPart III: Experiments15. Exploration16. Magic17. Astronomy18. Bodies19. Machines20. Instruments21. GravityPart IV: Institutions22. Societies23. Systems24. Careers25. Industries26. Revolutions27. Rationality28. DisciplinesPart V: Laws29. Progress30. Globalization31. Objectivity32. God33. Evolution34. Power35. TimePart VI: Invisibles36. Life37. Disease38. Rays39. Particles40. Genes41. Chemicals42. UncertaintiesPart VII:43. Warfare44. Heredity45. Cosmology46. Information47. Rivalry48. Environment49. FuturesPostscript

Editorial Reviews

"Wide-ranging and provocative... Romps through history at a terrific rate" --The Economist 11/06/2009