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What’s the hurry?

Ed Regis, 24 June 1993

Dreams of a Final Theory 
by Steven Weinberg.
Radius, 260 pp., £16.99, January 1993, 0 09 177395 4
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... at hand, one that will provide an explanation for absolutely everything that matters in physics. Steven Weinberg’s Dreams of a Final Theory tells us how we got to this point, and urges us to take the next logical step, which might also be our last, since if successful it will give us a complete and lasting theory of nature, ‘one that would be of ...

Thinking about Death

Michael Wood: Why does the world exist?, 21 March 2013

Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story 
by Jim Holt.
Profile, 307 pp., £12.99, June 2012, 978 1 84668 244 5
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... to Derek Parfit, again in Oxford. He meets Roger Penrose in New York, has phone conversations with Steven Weinberg and John Updike. These conversations become a way of evoking possibilities as much as seeking answers, and some of these possibilities are fascinating, whatever our scepticism may be about the larger project. Robert Nozick is cited (twice) as ...

What’s in the bottle?

Donald MacKenzie: The Science Wars Revisited, 9 May 2002

The One Culture? A Conversation about Science 
edited by Jay Labinger and Harry Collins.
Chicago, 329 pp., £41, August 2001, 0 226 46722 8
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... Erwin Chargaff, Jacob Bronowski, Gunther Stent, Brian Petley, and the trio of Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose and Leon Kamin. In a modest ‘anti-Sokal’ hoax, one of the contributors to The One Culture?, Steven Shapin, leads the reader initially to assume that the quotations come from critics of science in the arts and ...

Turtles All the Way Down

Walter Gratzer, 4 September 1997

The End of Science 
by John Horgan.
Little, Brown, 324 pp., £18.99, May 1997, 0 316 64052 2
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... numbered many of the best-known figures (and popularisers) of our day, such as Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg and Roger Penrose, not to mention all the proponents of superstring theory. But Horgan has also found some more fitting targets for his scorn. The expansion of science, the increasingly brutish struggle for survival that scientists must ...

Doom Sooner or Later

John Leslie, 5 June 1997

Imagined Worlds 
by Freeman Dyson.
Harvard, 216 pp., £14.50, May 1997, 0 674 53908 7
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... uranium perhaps an environmentally cleaner source of energy than coal? May the Nobel Prize-winner Steven Weinberg not have been right in his superbly argued Dreams of a Final Theory, a passionate defence of the Superconducting Supercollider particle accelerator (less expensive than the Sea Wolf submarine)? And was the collapse of the Soviet Union really ...

The Darwin Show

Steven Shapin, 7 January 2010

... several others on sunspots; Leibniz and Newton on the calculus; Priestley and Scheele on oxygen; Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam on electroweak gauge theory; and, of course, Darwin and the undercelebrated Alfred Russel Wallace on evolution by natural selection. Every instance of what has been called ‘simultaneous discovery’ lends credence to the ...

It’s like getting married

Barbara Herrnstein Smith: Academic v. Industrial Science, 12 February 2009

The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation 
by Steven Shapin.
Chicago, 468 pp., £15, October 2008, 978 0 226 75024 8
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... or the nature of ‘science itself’? In posing these questions and seeking to answer them, Steven Shapin has produced a work of exceptional originality, power and significance. He has also given readers much to chew over in regard to contemporary developments and perennial issues. The Scientific Life departs along several lines from the more strictly ...

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