James Adams' full-bodied, authoritative British accent and calm, measured delivery guide the listener through Sean F. Johnston's sprawling yet cohesive broad survey of the evolution of science, from the birth of Greek philosophy to Darwinism all the way up to the prevalence of autism in modern children.
It's an ambitious undertaking for a seven-hour audiobook, but the intelligent and discerning Johnston is able to sculpt a compelling narrative that doesn't waste time doting on the "triumph of intellect" but instead offers a straightforward, accessible overview of the development of science and how it informs our present-day lives.
Science makes the modern world go round, driving the economy, shaping politics, and influencing the food we eat, the films we watch, and the authorities we trust. Although we are surrounded by its triumphs, science's past is littered with disagreements, doubts, and misfires, while new developments are increasingly mired in controversy.
In History of Science, Sean Johnston weaves together intellectual history, philosophy, and social studies to offer a unique appraisal of scientific progress - taking us from the phenomena faced by our earliest ancestors, right up to debates surrounding climate change predictions, the rise of commercial science, and the ethics of biotechnology.
©2009 Sean F. Johnston (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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"Historiography, not history, of science"
To quote the British Society for the History of Science:
"Compellingly written... As an introduction to the historiography of science, this book is superb... a wonderfully rich volume, ideal for the newbie historian or interested layperson."
This is indeed an academic introduction to the historiography of science that seems intended for prospective historians. It is not at all a narrative history suitable for beginners. If you already know what "historiography" means, then maybe this book will interest you. If you're interested in narrative history, though, steer clear!
The performance, while mostly good, struggles with the many foreign pronunciations.
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