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From Eros to Gaia (Penguin science)

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140174236
ISBN-10: 0140174230
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Migration to other planets as a means to ensure human survival . . . The storage of garbage and nuclear wastes in outer space . . . An international reforestation program to restore climatic equilibrium. These are some of the proposals set forth by Dyson ( Disturbing the Universe ) in a challenging collection of essays, lectures and reviews spanning six decades. Urging the abolition of sea-launched cruise missiles, Dyson credits Russian leaders with sincerity in their desire for drastic disarmament. He pens cautionary tales illustrating the human frailties of scientists, and condemns as "bad scientifically" the Supercolliding Superconductor, a proposed $8 billion machine for high-energy physics research. In a sketch written at the age of nine, he depicts an astronomer tracking Eros, a minor planet that revolves 180 million miles from the Sun. Along with articles on quantum field theory and the mystery of unaccounted-for carbon in the biosphere, there are tributes to Richard Feynman and Paul Dirac, a travel sketch on Armenia and Dyson's proposed 60-year program for space science, including manned missions to Mars.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Thirty-five essays, book reviews, lectures, and even a science fiction short story written at age ten make up this collection spanning Dyson's career as writer and physicist. "Instead of history, I give you anecdotes. Instead of analysis, I give you opinions," writes Dyson in the essay "Strategic Bombing in World War 2 and Today: Has Anything Changed?" This aptly describes the whole collection. The pieces, which date from the 1950s to 1990, are reprinted from books and articles, and they are presented with little revision or updating. Readers will find some duplication in subject matter. Recurring themes include Dyson's opinion that the trend toward "big science" is squeezing out worthy, cost-effective, smaller-scale projects in physics, astronomy, and space exploration; that intellectual mavericks make more stimulating creative colleagues than many of the Ph.D.'s cranked out by academia; and that science must not lose its connection with humanity and the arts. Appropriate for public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/91 . -- Laurie Tynan, Montgomery Cty.
Norristown P.L., Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin science
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140174230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140174236
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Roberts VINE VOICE on February 16, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
The mathmatician / physicist Freeman Dyson is a Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton university. His career has distinguished him as a top notch scientist who is brilliant, insightful, and perhaps most important, a kind and gentle fellow. From Eros To Gaia deals with many concerns facing scientists today. Eros is the Greek term for the highest love, and Gaia is the Greek name for the life-giving mother earth. Dyson's resolve is that we must respect both if we are to continue are sojourn on this planet as a species. I believe he is correct.
Dyson explains how well-intentioned scientific projects get corrupted by politics so much that their outcomes and results are many times enervated by sundry extraneous issues and agendas. He also discusses how he thinks higher education could be improved via the institution of fresh approaches and schemes. As an added bonus, Feynman's legions of admirers will be delighted by the stories of he & Dyson's friendship.
This work is filled with remarkable clarity of thought & truly conveys majesty of this remarkable man's perspective on the world. I have the cassette version of this title & on it Dyson narrates the book himself. He has a pleasant voice & I would recommend this medium for Dyson's fans out there.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arthur P. Smith on February 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've long been an admirer of Freeman Dyson, even had lunch with him once a few years ago, and have read a few of his other books in the past. This relatively recent collection of essays includes things written all through his life, and provides a wonderful perspective on Dyson as a person, and his amazing view of the world. From a short story written as a child (the "Eros" part) to an account of an almost spiritual experience associated with a mugging in Washington DC, from Dyson's insights into bureaucratic mismanagement (the practical "plan A" vs. the prestigious "plan B" - guess what wins) to a collection of letters home about his good friend Dick Feynman, reading these pieces is illuminating and envigorating.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Jones on June 1, 1997
Format: Paperback
Physicist and philosopher Freeman Dyson writes about science, scientists, politics, arms control, nature and humanity. Includes book reviews, biographical sketches, obituaries, book introductions, and more.

Some of the pieces would be best enjoyed by physicists and scientists; most are very accessible. A few are incredibly profound.

--Stefan Jones
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