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Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy Paperback – Jun 2 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 2nd edition (June 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307454584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307454584
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

These 18 lucid essays on chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy and biology help readers comprehend today's science news. "Hazen and Trefil . . . demystify many advanced topics with succinct, if often reductive analogies: Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle becomes a car wreck in a dark tunnel, for example," said PW. Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Lucid and lively. Hazen and Trefil have a particular genius for picturing even formidably abstract ideas in concrete images. . . . Science Matters is as good as they get”
The Washington Post Book World

“Hazen and Trefil [are] unpretentious—good, down-to-earth, we-can-explain-anything science teachers, the kind you wish you had but never did.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A book that even scientifically literate readers can consult . . . if they find their recollection of relativity or quantum mechanics getting shaky.”
New Scientist

“Ordered and accessible, never daunting, never jumping ahead of itself. . . . If you've always thought you could never understand science, Hazen and Trefil will show you you're wrong.”
Washington Monthly

“A thoughtful and concise overview of what the citizen needs to know about science.”
—E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

“Science does matter, as this book shows.”
—Isaac Asimov

“A model of clarity and coherence.”
—Leon M. Lederman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics

“Lucid. . . . Will cause readers to wonder what was so confusing about the Periodic Table of Elements they confronted in their school days.”
Publishers Weekly

“A first rate exposition-thorough, accessible, and entertaining-of the rudiments of scientific knowledge.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A confident overview of the fundamentals of science. . . . Comprehensible and carefully paced.”
Booklist

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9 2003
Format: Paperback
I cannot understand the negative review by the reader from Oakton. I did not find a "condescending tone" or "patronizing attitiude" anywhere in this book. On the contrary, I have great appreciation for the authors' ability to cover essentially all the fundamentals of modern science in a pleasant and stimulating way. What they have done is to produce a kind of "science for poets" course that would be suitable at the high school or college level. They focus each of the 18 chapters on a single great idea of science, e.g., ch.1 ("The Universe is knowable and preditable."), ch.9 ("Everything is made of quarks and leptons."), ch.16 ("All life is based on the same genetic code.").

Of course this is not as detailed as a textbook, but by the same token, it does not wear you out or stuff you to the gills with more than you can digest. Another very pleasant aspect is the absence of the usual arm-twisting you'd get in a course: none of those bloody, in-your-face "learning objectives," no tests, no homework, no lists to memorize. Since the authors are both college teachers, they showed great restraint and wisdom in shunning that assiduous approach, which most teachers (myself included) tend to deploy in their daily work. They give you enough to develop a broad outline, but not so much as to kill your interest. Three cheers for their demonstration of top-quality science teaching.
P.S. I found a smattering of errors in those few chapters where I was knowledgeable, but these are all minor and will hardly be noticed by most readers, let alone detract from the overall learning experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 26 1999
Format: Paperback
Entertaining and insightfully written, this overview is a must read for the average person. It avoids bogging the reader down in technical jargon, and provides a great practical grasp of each of the major branches of science and how they influence our daily lives. Everything you always wanted to know about "how?" but were afraid to ask!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gives you as much information as a classroom textbook, but it is a lot more interesting. I felt this was an excellent book because there are not many books that provide as much information as this one and that are actually a good read. I had a hard time putting this book down once I started to read it.
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