By Freeman Dyson
From Galileo to today’s novice astronomers, scientists were rebels, writes Freeman Dyson. Like artists and poets, they're unfastened spirits who withstand the constraints their cultures impose on them. of their pursuit of nature’s truths, they're guided as a lot through mind's eye as through cause, and their maximum theories have the individuality and wonder of serious works of art.
Dyson argues that tips on how to comprehend technology is by way of realizing those that perform it. He tells tales of scientists at paintings, starting from Isaac Newton’s absorption in physics, alchemy, theology, and politics, to Ernest Rutherford’s discovery of the constitution of the atom, to Albert Einstein’s obdurate hostility to the assumption of black holes. His descriptions of very good physicists like Edward Teller and Richard Feynman are enlivened by means of his personal recollections of them. He seems with a skeptical eye at stylish medical fads and fantasies, and speculates at the way forward for weather prediction, genetic engineering, the colonization of area, and the prospect that paranormal phenomena may possibly exist but now not be scientifically verifiable.
Dyson additionally appears to be like past specific clinical inquiries to contemplate broader philosophical matters, similar to the boundaries of reductionism, the morality of strategic bombing and nuclear guns, the upkeep of our environment, and the dating among technological know-how and faith. those essays, by means of a special physicist who's additionally a prolific author, supply proficient insights into the historical past of technological know-how and clean views on contentious present debates approximately technological know-how, ethics, and faith.