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In his latest book, Eric Scerri presents a completely original account of the nature of scientific progress. It consists of a holistic and unified approach in which science is seen as a living and evolving single organism. Instead of scientific revolutions featuring exceptionally gifted individuals, Scerri argues that the 'little people' contribute as much as the 'heroes' of science. To do this he examines seven case studies of virtually unknown chemists and physicists in the early 20th century quest to discover the structure of the atom. They include the amateur scientist Anton van den Broek who pioneered the notion of atomic number as well as Edmund Stoner a then physics graduate student who provided the seed for Pauli's Exclusion Principle. Another case is the physicist John Nicholson who is virtually unknown and yet was the first to propose the notion of quantization of angular momentum that was soon put to good use by Niels Bohr. Instead of focusing on the logic and rationality of science, Scerri elevates the role of trial and error and multiple discovery and moves beyond the notion of scientific developments being right or wrong. While criticizing Thomas Kuhn's notion of scientific revolutions he agrees with Kuhn that science is not drawn towards an external truth but is rather driven from within. The book will enliven the long-standing debate on the nature of science, which has increasingly shied away from the big question of "what is science?"
Nanotechnology is sweeping the world. This science of very small particles, which includes genetic modification and the reconfiguring of the arrangement of atoms, presents possibilities beyond imagination. It also has huge implications for us all, especially here at home. How exactly is this new technology playing out in South Africa? In countries like India nanotechnology is being supported as a source of income and innovation. It has the potential to improve both the human condition and a country’s productivity and competitiveness. Is South Africa doing what it should and could to foster nanotechnology advances within the country? And what does the new technology mean for us as consumers? How many of us know that this technology is already being employed in substances like suntan cream and lipstick, with potential health implications for users? The application of nanotechnology poses risks as well as huge benefits, so we need to be particularly vigilant of the ethics and dangers of it. This book provokes discussion around these important topics and relays eyeopening information to those of us who thought all of this was sci-fi.
2015 Best Book Award from the Communal Studies Association The captivating story of the people of Heaven's Gate, a religious group focused on transcending humanity and the Earth, and seeking salvation in the literal heavens on board a UFO. In March 1997, thirty-nine people in Rancho Santa Fe, California, ritually terminated their lives. To outsiders, it was a mass suicide. To insiders, it was a graduation. This act was the culmination of over two decades of spiritual and social development for the members of Heaven's Gate. In this fascinating overview, Benjamin Zeller not only explores the question of why the members of Heaven's Gate committed ritual suicides, but interrogates the origin and evolution of the religion, its appeal, and its practices. By tracking the development of the history, social structure, and worldview of Heaven's Gate, Zeller draws out the ways in which the movement was both a reflection and a microcosm of larger American culture.The group emerged out of engagement with Evangelical Christianity, the New Age movement, science fiction and UFOs, and conspiracy theories, and it evolved in response to the religious quests of baby boomers, new religions of the counterculture, and the narcissistic pessimism of the 1990s. Thus, Heaven's Gate not only reflects the context of its environment, but also reveals how those forces interacted in the form of a single religious body. In the only book-length study of Heaven's Gate, Zeller traces the roots of the movement, examines its beliefs and practices, and tells the captivating story of its people.
Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership - one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs. The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom - combined with key insights from business and public leaders -creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike. Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. While recognizing the need for change in external structures and governance, Tideman highlights the importance of opening our minds, and connecting inner and outer spirituality. At the same time, he focuses on concrete practices for winning the hearts and minds of employees, customers, communities, and society at large, while addressing deep-rooted problems such as extreme social inequality and continued financial collapses. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms 'triple value'. We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection. Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman's fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman's sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama's unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.
Free Your Emotional Brain explores the built-in world of our emotions and how we can make best use of them. Based upon what neuroscience tells us about the raw machinery of our brains, it explores the pursuit of happiness and exposes the hidden power of spirituality. With humanity so often "filthy rich and mean as hell", what has gone so terribly wrong? Looking at the subject of climate change: is there anything the least bit effective we can do, alone, or together? There is so much to do every day, and a lot to think about. This book hacks up the important things of life into manageable bytes. It enables you to see how much you have already discovered simply by putting two and two together even within our blinkered experience as we have gone along. It is about mental hygiene, and the importance of kindness, gentleness and other similar things which seem to have gone missing in our lives today. And it is "Cheap at half the price" in the words of a wise old street vendor in Luxor on the River Nile.
Originally published in 1971. Discoveries in modern biology can radically change human life as we know it. As our understanding of living processes, such as inheritance, grows, so do the possibilities of applying these results for good and evil, such as the treatment of disease, the control of ageing, behaviour and genetic engineering. These discoveries and their implications are discussed by some of the world's leading biologists.
In recent years, computers have learned to diagnose diseases, drive cars, write clean prose and win game shows. Advances like these have created unprecedented economic bounty but in their wake median income has stagnated and employment levels have fallen. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee reveal the technological forces driving this reinvention of the economy and chart a path towards future prosperity. Businesses and individuals, they argue, must learn to race with machines. Drawing on years of research, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies and policies for doing so. A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age will radically alter how we think about issues of technological, societal and economic progress.
The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior. In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth. Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets," where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification." The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff's comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit -- at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future. With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future -- if we let it.
The internet has changed us all, creating a new layer of perfectionist pressure in every aspect of our lives, but equally enabling us to share resources, opinions, help and information more quickly than ever before. Are we supposed to love it, or leave it? Is it ever possible to do both? Like all of their generation, Naomi Shimada and Sarah Raphael have grown up on the internet, and now work closely with it every day. Sarah's work as a journalist brings her into contact with the outer reaches of the internet as well as its inner workings; graph upon graph revealing to her what people most want to read today (hint: its usually a story about a relationship car crash). In her work as a model and positivity advocate, Naomi talks to people all over the world through her sunny, colourful Instagram account; people who rely on her cheerfulness to help them. In Mixed Feelings, they explore what the internet might be doing to our minds, bodies and hearts, through wide-ranging essays and discussions featuring a range of perspectives and voices. A bible for those who refuse to fit into any box, this is a celebration of difference and a challenge to the status quo – a bulwark against the onslaught of images of perfectionism and aspiration we are bombarded with on a daily basis.
Science and faith are often seen as being in opposition. In this book, award-winning sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund questions this assumption based on research she has conducted over the past fifteen years. She highlights the ways these two spheres point to universal human values, showing readers they don't have to choose between science and Christianity. Breathing fresh air into debates that have consisted of more opinions than data, Ecklund offers insights uncovered by her research and shares her own story of personal challenges and lessons. In the areas most rife with conflict--the origins of the universe, evolution, climate change, and genetic technology--readers will find fascinating points of convergence in eight virtues of human existence: curiosity, doubt, humility, creativity, healing, awe, shalom, and gratitude. The book includes discussion questions for group use and to help pastors, small group leaders, and congregants broach controversial topics and bridge the science-faith divide.
An introductory chapter by the editor discusses the relationship between science and religion, and provides a summary of the themes of the book. Two chapters follow on a philosophical approach to the field, describing the relation with new atheism and the nature of natural law and reductionism. Then there are two chapters on astronomy and the nature of the universe, and two on evolution and creation. Three chapters follow from the biosciences, one on genes, another on psychology and a third on the nature of the person. These are complemented by two final theological chapters, one on the nature of miracles and another on trusting the New Testament.
From the Bible code to the Voynich manuscript, from subtly altered hieroglyphs carved into ancient Egyptian monuments to clues hidden in Renaissance paintings, we are surrounded by mysterious codes bearing hidden messages from the past. What does it take to write a fail-safe code? What does it take to break one? Taking in the full history of code making, from the scribes of ancient Egypt to modern-day computer programmers, The Story of Codesprovides a fascinating insight into this most secret and mysterious of crafts. It shows just how Julius Caesar obscured the meaning of vital wartime messages using a method of shifting letters and explains the way that Sir Francis Walsingham was able to use coded letter to foil plots against Elizabeth I. It gives an account of the ever-more complicated ciphers that were devised - and cracked - during the Cold War and investigates how codebreaking is being used today to fight crime and terrorism. And it shows you how to decipher codes from all periods of history, including many that are still employed today.
If the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe is just around the corner, what would be the consequences for religion? Would it represent another major conflict between science and religion, even leading to the death of faith? Some would suggest that the discovery of any suggestion of extraterrestrial life would have a greater impact than even the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It is now over 50 years since the first modern scientific papers were published on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Yet the religious implications of this search and possible discovery have never been systematically addressed in the scientific or theological arena. SETI is now entering its most important era of scientific development. New observation techniques are leading to the discovery of extra-solar planets daily, and the Kepler mission has already collected over 1000 planetary candidates. This deluge of data is transforming the scientific and popular view of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Earth-like planets outside of our solar system can now be identified and searched for signs of life. Now is a crucial time to assess the scientific and theological questions behind this search. This book sets out the scientific arguments undergirding SETI, with particular attention to the uncertainties in arguments and the strength of the data already assembled. It assesses not only the discovery of planets but other areas such as the Fermi paradox, the origin and evolution of intelligent life, and current SETI strategies. In all of this it reflects on how these questions are shaped by history and pop culture and their relationship with religion, especially Christian theology. It is argued that theologians need to take seriously SETI and to examine some central doctrines such as creation, incarnation, revelation, and salvation in the light of the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
In social theory and sociology, time and travel in technological cultures is one of the new and challenging research topics in the 'mobilities turn'. Yet surprisingly, contemporary practices of mobility have till now, seen only limited theorization within these disciplines. By analyzing historic and contextualized transit practices, this revealing book argues that travel cannot now simply be reduced to getting from A to B; it is an integrated part of everyday life. In this area, researching how problems can be identified as dilemmas and reformulated as design problems helps create a new vocabulary; one which will not only change the agenda in the debate on mobility problems in the public domain, but will also suggest new ways of theorizing mobility innovations. In this fascinating book, author Peters: develops a conceptual framework to study contemporary transit practices and evaluate innovation strategies gives new insights regarding historic and contemporary design strategies and regarding innovations related to travel in technological cultures gives special attention to electronic timespaces and ICT based mobility innovations investigates cases of travel in technological cultures, car travel, air travel, and cycling in Dutch towns. An original and provocative contribution to the emerging field of mobilities, this book will become an essential resource for advanced undergraduate, post-graduate, researchers and practitioners in the fields of sociology, geography, spatial planning, policy and transportation studies.
Growing Down explores the theological and psychological implications of humanity's fascination with technology. Author Jaco Hamman examines how our virtual relationships with and through tablets and phones, consoles and screens, have become potentially addictive substitutes for real human relationships. At the base of the technological revolution, as Hamman shows, are abiding theological questionsaquestions about what it means to be and to become a person in a technological world. Hamman argues that the appeal of today's communications technologies, especially the need to be constantly connected and online, is deeply rooted in the most basic ways humans develop. Human relationship with technology mirrors the holding environment established between young childrenandtheir primary caregivers. The virtual world plays upon humanity's deep yearning to reestablish that primary life-giving environment and to recall those first loving and caring relationships. By handling a phone and engaging online, humans revisit the exhilaration, fear, relief, and confidence of belonging, discovering, and gaining knowledge.Technology affords a space where the self can play, feel alive, and be real. Growing Down draws together theology, anthropology, neuroscience, object relations theory (especially the work of D. W. Winnicott), and empirical research to identify necessary intelligences for human flourishing in an increasingly virtual world. Humans can flourish in the face of the continued onslaught of rapid technological advancesaeven if they must grow down to do so.
There is a tradition in Russia that holds that mathematics can be both challenging and fun. One fine outgrowth of that tradition is the magazine, ""Kvant"", which has been enjoyed by many of the best students since its founding in 1970. The articles in ""Kvant"" assume only a minimal background, that of a good high school student, yet are capable of entertaining mathematicians of almost any level. Sometimes the articles require careful thought or a moment's work with a pencil and paper. However, the industrious reader will be generously rewarded by the elegance and beauty of the subjects.This book is the third collection of articles from ""Kvant"" to be published by the AMS. The volume is devoted mainly to combinatorics and discrete mathematics. Several of the topics are well known: nonrepeating sequences, detecting a counterfeit coin, and linear inequalities in economics, but they are discussed here with the entertaining and engaging style typical of the magazine. The two previous collections treat aspects of algebra and analysis, including connections to number theory and other topics. They were published as Volumes 14 and 15 in the ""Mathematical World"" series. The articles are written so as to present genuine mathematics in a conceptual, entertaining, and accessible way. The books are designed to be used by students and teachers who love mathematics and want to study its various aspects, deepening and expanding upon the school curriculum.
This book gathers inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives on the effects that today's advances in science and technology have on issues ranging from government policy-making to how we see the differences between men and women. The chapters investigate how invention and innovation really take place, how science differs from competing forms of knowledge, and how science and technology could contribute more to the greater good of humanity. For instance, should there be legal restrictions on 'immoral inventions'? A key theme that runs throughout the book concerns who is taken into account at each stage and who is affected. The amount of influence users have on technology development and how non-users are factored in are evaluated as the impact of scientific and technological progression on society is investigated, including politics, economy, family life, and ethics.
An accessible illustrated introducton to the networks we use every day, from Facebook and Google to WiFi and the Internet What makes WiFi faster at home than at a coffee shop? How does Google order search results? Is it really true that everyone on Facebook is connected by six steps or less? The Power of Networks answers questions like these for the first time in a way that all of us can understand. Using simple language, analogies, stories, hundreds of illustrations, and no more math than simple addition and multiplication, Christopher Brinton and Mung Chiang provide a smart and accessible introduction to the handful of big ideas that drive the computer networks we use every day. The Power of Networks unifies these ideas through six fundamental principles of networking. These principles explain the difficulties in sharing network resources efficiently, how crowds can be wise or not so wise depending on the nature of their connections, why there are many layers in a network, and more. Along the way, the authors also talk with and share the special insights of renowned experts such as Google's Eric Schmidt, former Verizon Wireless CEO Dennis Strigl, and "fathers of the Internet" Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly - some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These 'experts' supplied it. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.
Addiction is a powerful and destructive condition impacting large portions of the population around the world. While typically associated with substances such as drugs and alcohol, technology and gaming addiction have become a concern in recent years as technology use has become ubiquitous. Gaming and Technology Addiction: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice explores the social and psychological implications of technology and gaming addiction in addition to ways to manage and treat this unique form of addiction. Focusing on emerging research, case studies, and future outlooks, this comprehensive publication is an essential resource for psychologists, counselors, graduate-level students, and researchers studying psychology and technology use.
How can science realize its potential and help us tackle global inequality, environmental change and crippling poverty? How can more appropriate technologies be developed for those most in need? Science has long promised much -- new crops, new medicines, new sources of energy, new means of communication -- but the potential of new technologies has frequently bypassed the poorest people and the poorest countries. In Science and Technology for Development, James Smith explores the complex relationship between society and technology, and the potential for science to make sustainable contributions to global development. Drawing on case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia, the author argues that we need to think carefully about science and development, otherwise the perpetual promise of future technological breakthroughs may simply work to distance meaningful development from the present. This book is essential reading for all students of development.
Since the 1978 birth of the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, in England, more than eight million children have been born with the help of assisted reproductive technologies. From the start, they have stirred controversy and raised profound questions: Should there be limits to the lengths to which people can go to make their idea of family a reality? Who should pay for treatment? How can we ensure the ethical use of these technologies? And what can be done to address the racial and economic disparities in access to care that enable some to have children while others go without? In The Pursuit of Parenthood, historian Margaret Marsh and gynecologist Wanda Ronner seek to answer these challenging questions. Bringing their unique expertise in gender history and women's health to the subject, Marsh and Ronner examine the unprecedented means-liberating for some and deeply unsettling for others-by which families can now be created. Beginning with the early efforts to create embryos outside a woman's body and ending with such new developments as mitochondrial replacement techniques and uterus transplants, the authors assess the impact of contemporary reproductive technology in the United States. In this volume, we meet the scientists and physicians who have developed these technologies and the women and men who have used them. Along the way, the book dispels a number of fertility myths, offers policy recommendations that are intended to bring clarity and judgment to this complicated medical history, and reveals why the United States is still known as the "Wild West" of reproductive medicine.
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