The Virgin and the Mousetrap: Essays in Search of the Soul of Science

The Virgin and the Mousetrap: Essays in Search of the Soul of Science

by Chet Raymo, Robert Sevra

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Boston Globe science columnist Raymo eases the reader gently--perhaps too gently--into a dozen social and ethical problems arising in science. Beginning where science itself began, with the patterns of the night sky, he glides through genetic engineering, creationism, SDI and other topics. Referring to elements of a Flemish altarpiece, a reproduction of which he keeps on his desk, Raymo considers its ``vision of two worlds faith and technology in perfect balance,'' a balance upset by the industrial revolution. Longing for this old order lulls the text; although it deals with the tensions of science past and present, this collection emits only low-frequency signals. (Aug.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
As indicated by the book's subtitle, as well as those of his two previous books, Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage ( LJ 11/1/85) and Honey from Stone: A Naturalist's Search for God (Dodd, 1988), Raymo is something of a soul searcher. The essays in this collection attempt to frame a broad humanist context for various current and historical scientific topics. Subjects range from an astronomical interpretation of Van Gogh's Starry Night to popular misconceptions about Neanderthal humans to the risk factors that are inherent in the development of any new technology. The tone of the book is very personal, sometimes digressive. In contrast to some other science popularizers, Raymo is a seeker, rather than a giver of answers. A very readable treatment that is recommended for general science collections in public libraries.-- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman

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