This is a guest post by the historian and science writer Philip Ball, who draws on the discussion around physicist Steven Weinberg’s new history of science To Explain the World, and his list of best popular science books,to explore what it means to think historically, and why many scientists who attempt to write histories of their subjects fall short. A version of this essay was first published on Philip’s blog Homunculus. My thanks to Philip for allowing me to publish […]
I took part last week in a discussion on BBC World Service’s The Forum on the scientific, philosophical and cultural meanings of ‘invisibility’ with Philip Ball and Susan Blackmore. You can listen to the broadcast (for a year) on the BBC website; it is also downloadable as a podcast. . The image is from Anthony Gormley’s 2007 show ‘Blind Light’ at London’s Hayward Gallery.
The science writer Philip Ball recently published a post on his blog Homunculus in which he wondered why modern scientific instruments seem to lack the beauty and soul of those of centuries past. Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology at Imperial College, wrote in response, on Occam’s Corner, the Guardian-hosted science blog, a wonderful little essay, in which he questioned some of Philip’s assumptions but made also a case for scientists to have more than an instrumental relationship to their instruments. Philip […]