Martin Gardner, author of numerous books on science, mathematics, and pseudo-science, has assembled thirty-four extraordinary essays by eminent philosophers, scientists, and writers on the fundamental aspects of modern science.
As Gardner makes clear in his preface to the formerly titled Sacred Beetle and Other Great Essays in Science, his intent is not to teach the reader science or to report on the latest trends and discoveries. "Rather, the purpose of this book is to spread before the reader, whether his or her interest in science be passionate or mild, a sumptuous feast of great writing - absorbing, thought-disturbing pieces that have something to say about science and say it forcibly and well."
Gardner's entertaining biographical commentaries make Great Essays in Science a rich store of good reading and an informal history of the people and ideas that have shaped our culture and transformed our everyday lives. This collection includes works by Isaac Asimov, Rachel Carson, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Jean Henri Fabre, Sigmund Freud, Stephen Jay Gould, Aldous Huxley, Julian Huxley, William James, Ernest Nagel, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Lewis Thomas, H.G. Wells, and others.