Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society

Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society By Bill Bryson James Gleick Henry Petroski Georgina Ferrey Steve Jones Philip Ball Paul Davies Ian Stewart, Seeing Further Ideas Endeavours Discoveries and Disputes The Story of Science Through Years of the Royal Society Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson and with contributions from Richard Dawkins Margaret Atwood David Attenborough Martin Rees and Richard Fortey amongst others this is a remarkable volume celeb
  • Title: Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society
  • Author: Bill Bryson James Gleick Henry Petroski Georgina Ferrey Steve Jones Philip Ball Paul Davies Ian Stewart
  • ISBN: 9780007302567
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society By Bill Bryson James Gleick Henry Petroski Georgina Ferrey Steve Jones Philip Ball Paul Davies Ian Stewart, Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson, and with contributions from Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, David Attenborough, Martin Rees and Richard Fortey amongst others, this is a remarkable volume celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society.On a damp weeknight in November, 350 years ago, a dozen or so men gathered at Gresham College in London A twenty eight yearEdited and introduced by Bill Bryson, and with contributions from Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, David Attenborough, Martin Rees and Richard Fortey amongst others, this is a remarkable volume celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society.On a damp weeknight in November, 350 years ago, a dozen or so men gathered at Gresham College in London A twenty eight year old and not widely famous Christopher Wren was giving a lecture on astronomy As his audience listened to him speak, they decided that it would be a good idea to create a Society to promote the accumulation of useful knowledge.With that, the Royal Society was born Since its birth, the Royal Society has pioneered scientific exploration and discovery Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, John Locke, Alexander Fleming all were fellows.Bill Bryson s favourite fellow was Reverend Thomas Bayes, a brilliant mathematician who devised Bayes theorem Its complexity meant that it had little practical use in Bayes own lifetime, but today his theorem is used for weather forecasting, astrophysics and stock market analysis A milestone in mathematical history, it only exists because the Royal Society decided to preserve it just in case The Royal Society continues to do today what it set out to do all those years ago Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix, the electron, the computer and the World Wide Web Truly international in its outlook, it has created modern science.Seeing Further celebrates its momentous history and achievements, bringing together the very best of science writing Filled with illustrations of treasures from the Society s archives, this is a unique, ground breaking and beautiful volume, and a suitable reflection of the immense achievements of science.
    Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society By Bill Bryson James Gleick Henry Petroski Georgina Ferrey Steve Jones Philip Ball Paul Davies Ian Stewart,
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    About "Bill Bryson James Gleick Henry Petroski Georgina Ferrey Steve Jones Philip Ball Paul Davies Ian Stewart"

    1. Bill Bryson James Gleick Henry Petroski Georgina Ferrey Steve Jones Philip Ball Paul Davies Ian Stewart

      William McGuire Bill Bryson, OBE, FRS was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951 He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.In The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson s hilarious first travel book, he chronicled a trip in his mother s Chevy around small town America It was followed by Neither Here Nor There, an account of his first trip around Europe Other travel books include the massive bestseller Notes From a Small Island, which won the 2003 World Book Day National Poll to find the book which best represented modern England, followed by A Walk in the Woods in which Stephen Katz, his travel companion from Neither Here Nor There, made a welcome reappearance , Notes From a Big Country and Down Under.Bill Bryson has also written several highly praised books on the English language, including Mother Tongue and Made in America In his last book, he turned his attention to science A Short History of Nearly Everything was lauded with critical acclaim, and became a huge bestseller It was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, before going on to win the Aventis Prize for Science Books and the Descartes Science Communication Prize His next book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, is a memoir of growing up in 1950s America, featuring another appearance from his old friend Stephen Katz October 8 sees the publication of A Really Short History of Nearly Everything.

    639 thoughts on “Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society”

    1. I confess I only decided to check this book out of the library because I ve loved all of the other Bryson books I ve read Imagine my disappointment, then, when this is not a book by Bill Bryson, but one edited by him and he wrote the introduction.Writing about science is hard It s a delicate balance between providing enough information for the reader to follow along and providing too much information and either boring or confusing the reader Unfortunately, a lot of the essays did not hit that ba [...]


    2. I loved the opening by Bill Bryson, which as usual is at his best when he gets you excited about science and the people who brave it Like many other readers, I never realized though that this book is not actually by Bryson, and that he has only a small part in it The rest are essays of different levels of interest and quality I would have loved to learn about the Royal Society and its achievements through the last few centuries, but this is not what this book is about Feel a little cheated, act [...]


    3. SEEING FURTHER 2010 Bill Bryson ed 1 2.This is a collection of essays on various aspects of science The sub title of the book is The Story of Science, Discovery The Genius of the Royal Society In all, there are twenty one articles plus the introduction by Bryson that address specific inquiries made at one time or another by the Royal Society during its long history The articles were written by the cream of the crop of writers, including James Gleick, Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins and others I [...]


    4. This is a collection of essays written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society of London, edited and curated by the omnipresent Bill Bryson The main attraction for me was that the essays, each focusing on a member of the Society, or a discovery, or on some aspect of its innumerable contributions to human knowledge, were written by a large cast authors like James Gleick, Margret Atwood, and Neal Stephenson rub shoulders with actual scientists and mathematicians like Richard Dawkin [...]


    5. This is a wonderful book and in my opinion we would all benefit from reading it Ostensibly it is the history of science and the Royal Society, an organisation started by scientists in 1660 becoming royal in 1662 after the granting of the royal charter to promote learning and understanding of the world and how that learning can benefit Mankind.The wonderful thing about the Royal Society is that it is about just that learning, understanding and, thankfully, advising those in power what might be th [...]


    6. Rating 6 10This collection of essays on science and the Royal Society is a gorgeously designed book The use of pictures and colors throughout is appealing and tasteful.The best essays are those which focus on the history of the Royal Society itself, and how the elements of science we take for granted today came to be through the genius and work of extraordinary people I was not familiar with much of this history, and I found it fascinating For example, the scientific method of gaining knowledge [...]



    7. Physically, this is a magnificent book, beautifully produced on high quality paper, well illustrated, and a fitting celebration of the Royal Society s 350th year of existence Intellectually, though, it is hard to know quite what to make of it In 22 short contributions, science popularisers rub shoulders with authors of science fiction and Fellows of the Royal Society, covering topics that range from fanciful speculation to serious science, with than a smattering of history All of the contributo [...]



    8. In 350 years, the Royal Society has had a mere 8,200 members, but what a roll call of names In 2010, the Royal Society celebrated its 350th birthday Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when a group of twelve men met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, then the Gresham Professor of Astronomy This group of men, who included Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and William, Viscount Brouncker, decided to found a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico Mathem [...]


    9. Right from the start, the dishonesty of the book s title was an extreme aggravation to me It takes a mildly amusing collection of essays and contorts them into a cheap marketing gimmick selling them as something grandiose and thorough than they really are I had at least hoped the essays themselves would have had some bearing on the title of the book, though this was frequently not the case.In broad terms there are really two books here one, a collection of essays on science and its history in [...]


    10. If Bill Bryson has written about seeing further, it is by standing next to the keyboards of giants, so have a care this is not another Bill Bryson book It is, in fact, much , but take care, gentle reader, because Bryson is the editor and the authors number 22.The Royal Society probably has the best claim of all to be the father of science, in an Arnold Schwarzenegger, milk shake sense that the father had the genes of many talented men Its members have been at the forefront of every field since N [...]


    11. My enthusiasm for this book flagged significantly as I actually started reading it.It is neither particularly informative nor particularly entertaining.The first essay or intro by Bill Bryson was good Margaret Atwood s essay was good albeit it felt somehow misplaced.The rest are mediocre.I especially resent the fascination with the spirituality of Royal Society members Many authors in this collection believe that understanding their spiritual beliefs is important I disagree I think it is the lea [...]


    12. Doesn t really do what it says on the tin anyone looking for a coherent account of the Royal Society will be disappointed This is nothing or less than a collection of essays by some outstanding authors, but not necessarily as cohesive an effort as one might expect Some are loosely related to the theme than others On the bright side, the individual essays can be read separately or at random without detracting from the experience I particularly enjoyed Margaret Atwood s essay on the mad scientis [...]


    13. I was initially attracted to the book by the idea of having a current researcher in the field expound on one of the discoveries of a great historical scientist The result is wonderful, and like most collections of short articles extremely frustrating As I finished each essay, I wanted to shout Please, sir, I want .


    14. This book is best described as a collection of chapters ostensibly about the Royal Society I say ostensibly because many of the chapters are not at all actually about the Royal Society, and many of the ones which do reference it only do so briefly before charging off down some other angle about science and scientists I would be forgiving of this foible if I was less interested in the actual history of the Royal Society I picked up this book after finishing Dolnick s _The Clockwork Universe_, wh [...]


    15. I have read some of the books authored by Bill Bryson and enjoyed them very much This time around, Bryson, acting as editor, presents a series of essays on science Using the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society as its raison d tre, Seeing Further covers a lot of ground Like other books that attempt to make immensely complex subjects palatable to us non scientists Hawking s A Brief History of Time springs to mind , there are patches in this one where I was left scratching my head, and other spo [...]


    16. A long read at just over 500 pages, this book has been most enlightening about the story of science since the founding of the Royal Society in England in 1660.After a lovely introduction by Bill Bryson, 20 writers, not all scientists, give their various perspectives on this story, where it has been, where it is now, and where it might go in the future Some writers were a little dense so harder to read, but I not not regretted the time spent.I am in the process of promoting a friend s book, a nov [...]


    17. I read this book in short bursts over several months I am a scientist, but some of the essays were a little dense for me mostly those with a philosophical bent I thoroughly enjoyed learning some of the history of the Royal Society and many of the perspectives on the work of the RS, both from scientists and non scientists A light read, it is not, but worth it to expand your knowledge and perspective Also, the book is chock full of reading recommendations on all topics covered if you re looking to [...]


    18. I m sure the fault lies with me rather than the book, but it is so awkward to read big and floppy that I could never get comfortable with it I also picked up it because of Bill Bryson s name, not realising it was a book of essays, and the other authors don t write with that common touch so, although the essays were good, I m sure, and it s my loss, to be honest I only read a couple and skimmed a couple .


    19. This book is not what I thought it was going to be It s a collection of essays by a wide variety of authors, some not scientists at all who don t even talk about the science, and many seemingly unrelated to the book title But I enjoyed it and would read parts again At least read them as individual essays.


    20. This was an interesting read They did a good job of representing the various sciences, including mathematics and engineering, whcih are often underrepresented I felt it was a bit heavy on theoretical physicists, but that is probably just my own preference for biology The look ahead was almost as interesting, if a bit frightening, then the look back


    21. 22 chapters each by a different scientific writer giving the history of science through the eyes of the Royal Society A bit uneven in the writing due to the variety of writers Definitely not the expected Bryson Uneven read aloud.


    22. Bryson tends to portray the Royal Society as a humanist organization and as a Darwinian disciple delivers many fine sermons explaining the virtues of evolution which includes a brief expose on climate change that is pivotal on human behavior.


    23. A mixed bag of essays about various topics mostly very good with the odd exception It s not so much a book about the Royal Society as a collection of reflections on the things that have preoccupied past and present members of the RS.


    24. Got the book because I ve enjoyed others by Bill Bryson he is only the editor of a number of scientific articles written by others Some were intriguing others too profound for the light reading I was hoping for.





    25. An excellent collection of scientific articles written by the most eminent of writers of the genre Bill Bryson has come out with a magnificent book to establish the credentials of the Royal Society in furthering our scientific knowledge of the Universe A must read for all science aficionados.


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