Ingenious pursuits: building the scientific revolution

Jardine, L.
New York: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

Publisher's description

Today the 'two cultures' - art and science - have come to be treated as fundamentally opposed, their aims incompatible. Scientific research is castigated for its inhumane methods & lack of moral responsibility, while art is treated as an enduring source of essential guidance to society's spiritual well-being. Lisa Jardine makes clear in this remarkable book that this is a distinction which is both artificial & historically inaccurate. The intellectual revolution of the 17th & early 18th eighteenth centuries was the single most formative event in Western history, bringing together the humanities & natural sciences in an unprecedented ferment of conceptual & practical creativity. She documents the forces for change which brought the human & natural sciences together & gave them shape. Each of her series of key components - among them, precise time measurement, enhanced astronomical observation, selective animal & plant breeding & technological advances in navigation - lays a crucial part of the foundations for modern thought. INGENIOUS PURSUITS brilliantly illuminates the practice of science, its impact on the emerging modern world & its continuing relevance to society.