Science: A many-splendored thing

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

) is void if one does not have information or understanding about the choices which need to be made. Yet with scientific discoveries being ever more profound and sophisticated is there any hope that democratic rights can be maintained? Such problems had been amply demonstrated in the present political and economic crisis which is occurring in the World. The book argues that a better grasp of fundamental scientific principles may have helped to avoid some aspects of the current crisis. Science is a useful 'reality therapy'; it is much more than a set of equations or rules as this book shows.Science, so the book argues, is not so much about making our lives 'better', but about understanding them more. The book attempts to explicitly clarify many misconceptions which are held regarding Science by scientists and non-scientists alike. The book has many quotations not only to recently published books, but also to primary publications in scientific journals. This allows the reader to explore the current issues independently. The book is based on the fundamental but often unappreciated premise that we are part of the natural world and that this imposes fundamental constraints on our lives, albeit sometimes barely perceptible ones. The book allows Science to be Science!This book is not your typical science book. Why? It does not popularize or advertise Science as being weird and wonderful. It does not contain interesting but mostly amusing anecdotes about weird lives of scientists. It does not flinch from describing unpopular issues and it does not pander to political correctness. It does not interpret or justify Science through sociological or philosophical prisms. It does not force ethical issues onto scientific agenda but asks a profound question: to what extent are our ethical, economic or political perceptions consistent with natural laws and processes? If they are not, what is the entailed cost and consequences? What does it do? It is a version of 'dummy's guide to Science' but at a more sophisticated and profound level. It describes how Science works in practice. The book is unencumbered by issues which outsiders may think are important for Science but in fact are not considered to be by most scientists. The book describes fundamental importance of Science, not (as many science books do) through 'wonderful' technological applications or inventions related to Science but through profound effects which Science exerts on our personal lives and self-image. Science is much more than a set of useful applications; it is a frame of mind. Only if we accept this tenet can we fully appreciate Science and understand how science as an activity influences the modern world. This book is designed to achieve just that. The book describes two often ignored, profound challenges which Science (coupled with Technology) poses today: the inevitable concentration of power (economic, political) which it brings and the woeful ignorance of majority of modern citizens of the principles of Science. This ignorance effectively nullifies any democratic prerogatives or aspirations which modern citizens have. The freedom of choice (e.g. in democracy
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
Number of pages320
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9789814304757
ISBN (Print)9789814304740
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Science: A many-splendored thing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Novak, I. (2011). Science: A many-splendored thing. (1st ed.) World Scientific Publishing.