The End of Science

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9780349109268: The End of Science

As a writer for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, John Horgan has an unsurpassed window on contemporary science, routinely interviewing the scientific geniuses of our times, scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Karl Popper and Noam Chomsky. In THE END OF SCIENCE, Horgan displays his genius for getting these larger-than-life figures to be human, whilst also encouraging them to confront the very limits of knowledge. Have the big questions all been answered? Has all the knowledge worth pursuing become known? Will there be a final 'theory of everything' that signals the end? Horgan extracts surprisingly candid answers to these and other delicate questions as he discusses God, Star Trek, superstrings, quarks, consciousness and numerous other topics. In a time where scientific rationality is under fire from every quarter, THE END OF SCIENCE is a witty, thoughtful, profound and entertaining narrative which serves as both a critique of and a homage to modern science.

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Review:

John Horgan makes the powerful case that the best and most exciting scientific discoveries are behind us. He states that many scientists today, particularly those he interviewed for the book, are "gripped by a profound unease," due partially to dwindling financial resources and vicious competition, but increasingly due to the sense that "the great era of scientific discovery is over." In other words, he argues, the big problems that can be solved have been, and the big ones that haven't been solved can't be. Among the celebrated thinkers quoted in this ambitious book are Stephen Jay Gould, Roger Penrose, and John Archibald Wheeler. A concise history of the last 20 years of scientific study introduces his thesis and covers such topics as superstring theory, mathematical topology, and how to distinguish chaos from complexity.

From the Publisher:

"John Horgan buttonholes the most interesting scientists on the planet--helistens, he argues, he thinks. He has an exceedingly accurate instinct for theside of science that isn't published in journals or taught in schools, and it'sa privilege to be able to follow along as he peers behind the curtain."
--James Gleick, author of Chaos

"[In this] intellectually bracing, sweepingly reported, often brilliant andsometimes bullying book, John Horgan makes the powerful case that the best andmost exciting scientific discoveries are behind us."
--New York Times Book Review, front page review

"...an unauthorized biography of science."
--The Associated Press

"Hugely entertaining, certain to create
controversy."
--E.O. Wilson

Copyright © 1996 by John Horgan.

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