Science has long been considered the very definition of modernity, the source of the empiricism and skepticism, openness and civility that distinguishes modern societies from previous social orders. Lately this view of science has come under intense scrutiny, as historians, philosophers, and scientists themselves have begun to ask fundamental questions about the institution of science.
In this collection of invigorating interviews, David Cayley talks to some of the world’s most provocative thinkers about the nature of scientific knowledge. Touching upon a rich array of subjects, he probes how our understanding of science has begun to shift and alter our view of the world.
“The rich array of subjects and levels of discussion makes for fascinating reading. Ideas on the Nature of Science is an intellectual treat for anyone interested in exhilarating adventures into the frontiers of the sciences.”– Oceans Association
“Illuminating. Topics range from exploring the vanishing northern cod to the Gaia theory of life on earth.”– The Chronicle-Herald
“What is really remarkable about science is its ability to create novelties. And these novelties are not just at the level of new discoveries and new theories; they involve whole new ways not only of understanding knowledge, but of getting knowledge and being a knower.”– Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
“For me, the power of the book is how editor David Cayley probes his guests, through his powerful questioning, to examine the fundamental nature of science and its role in history and modern society. I highly recommend this must read anthology of the world’s leading thinkers on science Ideas on the Nature of Science edited by David Cayley. The ideas presented by the philosophers, historians, and practitioners of science will have a profound effect on how the reader views the role and nature of science in society. Indeed, the very myth of modernity, and of science as part of that concept, is called into serious question in several interviews.” – Business World
“A great introduction to science and technology studies. The thinkers and topics are impressive.”– The Anthropo.scene
“An important book on a vitally important topic. David Cayley’s thoughtful conversations give us an intellectual GPS System. No one should go on a quest for understanding the enterprise of science without it.”
“Cayley’s entertaining, eclectic, challenging conversations unveil a rich ecology of how we think about the world and why it matters. These exhilarating adventures into the frontiers of the sciences left me with a sense of wonder, and of hope.”