The Invention of Science
20%
off

The Invention of Science : A New History of the Scientific Revolution

3.85 (270 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

A companion to such acclaimed works as The Age of Wonder, A Clockwork Universe, and Darwin's Ghosts--a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world.

We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history.

The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts--Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe--whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition.

From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization--and the birth of the modern world we know.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 769 pages
  • 135 x 201 x 36mm | 612g
  • HARPER PERENNIAL
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0061759538
  • 9780061759536
  • 319,004

Review quote

"Vibrant and impressive...The Invention of Science is a marvel of expositional clarity"--Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor
show more

Back cover copy

Before 1492, all significant knowledge was believed to be already available; there was no concept of progress, as people looked to the past, not the future, for understanding. David Wootton argues that the discovery of America demonstrated new knowledge was possible: indeed, it introduced the very concept of discovery and opened the way to the invention of science.

The first crucial discovery was Tycho Brahe's nova of 1572: proof that there could be change in the heavens. The invention of the telescope in 1608 rendered the old astronomy obsolete. Evangelista Torricelli's experiment with the vacuum, in 1643 directly led to the triumph of the experimental method used in the Royal Society by Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton. By 1750, Newtonianism was being celebrated throughout Europe.

This innovative science relied on a new understanding of what knowledge may be, and with this came a fresh language: discovery, progress, fact, experiment, hypothesis, theory, and laws of nature. Although almost all these terms existed before 1492, their meanings were radically transformed, and they became tools to think scientifically. Now we all speak this language of science that was invented during the Scientific Revolution.

The new culture led to a new rationalism, repudiating alchemy, astrology, and the belief in witchcraft. It also led to the invention of the steam engine and to the first Industrial Revolution. Wootton's landmark work changes our understanding of how this great transformation came about, and of what science is.
show more

Rating details

270 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 30% (80)
4 40% (108)
3 20% (53)
2 7% (20)
1 3% (9)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X