For three millennia, people have wrestled with the great questions of existence. Where did we come from? What is the world made of? Are we alone in the cosmos? The answer to all these questions is the story of science.
Reader’s Digest, in conjunction with Michael Mosley, John Lynch (Executive Producer of the international hit Walking With Dinosaurs) and the BBC, are proud to bring you this amazing story in the form of a companion book to the landmark BBC television series, The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion.
This book tells the story of the elements that influence the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, from the business of making instruments to the sometimes zany characters involved in the research. It delves into the effects that a revolution, war or cultural movement can have on the everyday work of science.
Cosmos: What’s Out There? delves into the overpowering vista of a starry night sky, describing the way finances, characters and blind luck moved the science of astronomy and our view of out place in the heavens. Matter: What is the World Made Of? explores how these same forces moved the quest to understand our planet. Life: How Did We Get Here? goes into the stories of luminaries like Charles Darwin, Buffon and Charles Lyell, as well as the effects that Cold War submariners had on our understanding of geology and the Earth’s magnetism. The personalities and forces that lead to to-day’s energy industries (and the questions surrounding them) are discussed in the chapter, Power: Can We Have Unlimited Power? The last two chapters, Body: What is the Secret of Life? and Mind: Who Are We? look at how great minds from Leonardo Da Vinci and Justus von Liebig to Robert Hooke, Freud, Jung and George Gilles de la Tourette expanded our understanding of the body and brain, and how greater scientific knowledge in the 20th century dovetailed with an increasingly secular society.