Cover of: What remains to be discovered | John Royden Maddox

What remains to be discovered

mapping the secrets of the universe, the origins of life, and the future of the human race

Published by Martin Kessler Books in New York .
Written in English

About the Book

[O]n the eve of the millennium the question about science's future reappears. In his widely discussed 1996 book, ''The End of Science,'' John Horgan argued that, indeed, the end is nigh: The big discoveries have all been made.

Horgan, a veteran science writer, did not argue that we have answered all the big questions; he is as curious as the next guy about, say, the nature of human consciousness or life on other worlds. The problem, he wrote, is that we will probably never find the answers -- or the solution will be some dispiriting triviality. Consciousness may one day be revealed to be nothing more than an accumulation of nerve impulses. As to the question of extraterrestrials, Horgan says we will never be able to get far enough out into space to find out. The impossibility of exceeding the speed of light hangs from us like a ball and chain.

Sir John Maddox doesn't buy any of this. Maddox was for almost 23 years editor in chief of the British journal Nature, one of the world's leading scientific publications. By deciding what to publish, he was more than an observer of the scientific enterprise -- he helped to shape it. In ''What Remains to Be Discovered,'' he attempts to set an agenda for the coming decades, even centuries. The title was carefully chosen: He discusses what scientists need to find out, and where they might look. He doesn't try to predict what they will find. He mischievously avoids mention of Horgan, but Maddox is clearly out to refute him. ''Science, far from being at an end, has a long agenda ahead of it,'' Maddox writes. And the discoveries to come will change our view of the world ''as radically as it has been changed since the time of Copernicus.'' [excerpted from a review by Paul Raeburn, NYT, 1999 [1]]

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. 379-415) and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
Q180.55.D57 M33 1998

The Physical Object

xiv, 434 p. ;
Number of pages

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