From the Inside Flap
This book provides a lens through which modern society is shown to depend on complex networks for its stability. One way to achieve this understanding is through the development of a new kind of science, one that is not explicitly dependent on the traditional disciplines of biology, economics, physics, sociology and so on; a science of networks. This text reviews, in non-mathematical language, what we know about the development of science in the twenty-first century and how that knowledge influences our world. In addition, it distinguishes the two-tiered science of the twentieth century, based on experiment and theory (data and knowledge) from the three-tiered science of experiment, computation and theory (data, information and knowledge) of the twenty-first century in everything from psychophysics to climate change.
This book is unique in that it addresses two parallel lines of argument. The first line is general and intended for a lay audience, but one that is scientifically sophisticated, explaining how the paradigm of science has been changed to accommodate the computer and large-scale computation. The second line of argument addresses what some consider the seminal scientific problem of climate change. The authors show how a misunderstanding of the change in the scientific paradigm has led to a misunderstanding of complex phenomena in general, and the causes of global warming in particular.