What Science Is and How It Works / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$12.57
(Save 66%)
Est. Return Date: 02/24/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$23.34
(Save 37%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.45
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 85%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $5.45   
  • New (6) from $23.98   
  • Used (9) from $5.45   

Overview

How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries happen? Why are cold fusion and parapsychology different from mainstream science? What is a scientific worldview? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry talks about these and other questions as he introduces the reader to the process of scientific thinking. From the discovery of X rays and semiconductors to the argument for continental drift to the invention of the smallpox vaccine, scientific work has proceeded through honest observation, critical reasoning, and sometimes just plain luck. Derry starts out with historical examples, leading readers through the events, experiments, blind alleys, and thoughts of scientists in the midst of discovery and invention. Readers at all levels will come away with an enriched appreciation of how science operates and how it connects with our daily lives.

An especially valuable feature of this book is the actual demonstration of scientific reasoning. Derry shows how scientists use a small number of powerful yet simple methods—symmetry, scaling, linearity, and feedback, for example—to construct realistic models that describe a number of diverse real-life problems, such as drug uptake in the body, the inner workings of atoms, and the laws of heredity.

Science involves a particular way of thinking about the world, and Derry shows the reader that a scientific viewpoint can benefit most personal philosophies and fields of study. With an eye to both the power and limits of science, he explores the relationships between science and topics such as religion, ethics, and philosophy. By tackling the subject of science from all angles, including the nuts and bolts of the trade as well as its place in the overall scheme of life, the book provides a perfect place to start thinking like a scientist.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice
[There is] no better contemporary book to convey the unity of science and at the same time to stimulate further study.
The Quarterly Review of Biology
How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries occur? How is mainstream science different from borderland science and pseudoscience? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry discusses these and other questions as he introduces readers to the scientific way of thinking. . . . Readers of this book will come away with an enriched appreciation of how scientists operate, and how science connects with our daily lives.
— Robert J. Deltete
The Quarterly Review of Biology - Robert J. Deltete
How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries occur? How is mainstream science different from borderland science and pseudoscience? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry discusses these and other questions as he introduces readers to the scientific way of thinking. . . . Readers of this book will come away with an enriched appreciation of how scientists operate, and how science connects with our daily lives.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000

"[There is] no better contemporary book to convey the unity of science and at the same time to stimulate further study."Choice

"Part textbook, part manifesto, Derry's book offers both entertainment and food for thought for readers inclined to learn the ways of science."—Gregory McNamee, Amazon.com

"How does a scientist go about solving problems? How do scientific discoveries occur? How is mainstream science different from borderland science and pseudoscience? In this lively and wide-ranging book, Gregory Derry discusses these and other questions as he introduces readers to the scientific way of thinking. . . . Readers of this book will come away with an enriched appreciation of how scientists operate, and how science connects with our daily lives."—Robert J. Deltete, The Quarterly Review of Biology

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691095509
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 926,814
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

PREFACE ix
PROLOGUE What Is Science? 3
PART I. EXPLORING THE FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE: HOW NEW DISCOVERIES ARE MADE IN THE SCIENCES 9
CHAPTER 1 A Bird's Eye View: The Many Routes to Scientific Discovery 11
CHAPTER 2 Nature's jigsaw: Looking for Patterns As a Key to Discovery 26
CHAPTER 3 New Vistas: Expanding Our World with Instrumentation 35
CHAPTER 4 Close, But No Cigar: Discrepancies As a Trigger to Discovery 42
CHAPTER 5 Ingredients for a Revolution: Thematic Imagination, Precise Measurements, and the Motions of the Planets 52
PART II. MENTAL TACTICS: SOME DISTINCTIVELY SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES TO THE WORLD 67
CHAPTER 6 A Universe in a Bottle: Models, Modeling, and Successive Approximation 69
CHAPTER 7 Thinking Straight: Evidence, Reason, and Critical Evaluation 89
CHAPTER 8 The Numbers Game: Uses of Quantitative Reasoning 107
PART III. LARGER QUESTIONS: THE CONTEXT OF SCIENCE 123
CHAPTER 9 Ultimate Questions: Science and Religion 125
CHAPTER 10 More Practical Questions: Science and Society 133
CHAPTER 11 Difficult and Important Questions: Science, Values, and Ethics 145
CHAPTER 12 Questions of Authenticity: Science, Pseudoscience, and How to Tell the Difference 158
CHAPTER 13 Contentious Questions: The Shadowy Borderlands of Science 174
CHAPTER 14 Very Abstract Questions: The Philosophy of Science 189
CHAPTER 15 Questions of Legitimacy: The Postmodern Critique of Science 207
PART IV COMMON GROUND: SOME UNIFYING CONCEPTS IN THE SCIENCES 215
CHAPTER 16 Fleas and Giants: Some Fascinating Insights about Area, Volume, and Size 217
CHAPTER 17 The Edge of the Abyss: Order and Disorder in the Universe 230
CHAPTER 18 Riding Blake's Tiger: Symmetry in Science, Art, and Mathematics 252
CHAPTER 19 The Straight and Narrow: Linear Dependence in the Sciences 274
CHAPTER 20 The Limits of the Possible: Exponential Growth and Decay 285
CHAPTER 21 In the Loop: Feedback, Homeostasis, and Cybernetics 295
EPILOGUE So, What Is Science? 303
INDEX 305

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2002

    What everyone should know about science

    This is a great book, and I have used it as supplementary text very in 'Integrated Science', an introductory science class for non-technical college students. It would actually be a 5-star textbook if it included problems and exercises.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)