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Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos by
Call Number: 520.92 Sag Pou
In this compelling life of Carl Sagan, award-winning science writer William Poundstone details the transformation of a bookish young astronomer obsessed with life on other worlds into science's first authentic media superstar. The instantly recognizable Sagan, a fixture on television and a bestselling author, offered the layperson entry into the mysteries of the cosmos and of science in general. To much of the scientific community, however, he was a pariah, a brazen publicity seeker who cared more about his image and his fortune than the advancement of science.
Call Number: 520.92 Gal Hel
Four hundred years ago, in 1610, Galileo published the Siderius nuncius, or Starry Messenger, a 'hurried little masterpiece' in John Heilbron's words. Presenting to the world his remarkable observations using the recently invented telescope - of the craters of the moon, and the satellites of Jupiter, observations that forced changes to perceptions of the perfection of the heavens and the centrality of the Earth - the appearance of the little book is regarded as one of the greatest moments in the history of science. It was also a point of change in the life of Galileo himself, propelling him from professor to prophet. This fresh, lively new biography of the 'father of science', planned to coincide with the 400th anniversary of publication of the Starry Messenger, paints a rounded picture of Galileo, and places him firmly within the rich texture of late Renaissance Florence, Pisa, and Padua, amid debates on the merits of Ariosto and Tasso, and the geometry of Dante's Inferno - debates in which the young Galileo played an active role.
Galileo: Watcher of the Skies by
Call Number: 520.92 Gal Woo
Galileo (1564–1642) is one of the most important and controversial figures in the history of science. A hero of modern science and key to its birth, he was also a deeply divided man: a scholar committed to the establishment of scientific truth yet forced to concede the importance of faith, and a brilliant analyst of the elegantly mathematical workings of nature yet bungling and insensitive with his own family. Tackling Galileo as astronomer, engineer, and author, David Wootton places him at the center of Renaissance culture.
Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries by
Call Number: 520.92 Kep Gil
Johannes Kepler changed forever our understanding of the universe with his three laws of planetary motion. He demolished the ancient model of planets moving in circular orbits and laid the foundation for the universal law of gravitation, setting physics on the course of revelation it follows to this day. Kepler was one of the greatest astronomers of all time. Yet if it hadn't been for the now lesser-known Tycho Brahe, the man for whom Kepler apprenticed, Kepler would be a mere footnote in today's science books. Brahe was the Imperial Mathematician at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor in Prague and the most famous astronomer of his era. He was one of the first great systematic empirical scientists and one of the earliest founders of the modern scientific method. His forty years of planetary observations - an unparalleled treasure of empirical data - contained the key to Kepler's historic breakthrough. But those observations would become available to Kepler only after Brahe's death. This history portrays the turbulent collaboration between these two astronomers at the turn of the seventeenth century and their shattering discoveries that would mark the transition from medieval to modern science.
Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother by
Call Number: 520.92 Kep Con
Set against the backdrop of the witchcraft trial of his mother, Kepler's Witch vividly brings to life the tidal forces of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, submerging us into these turbulent times, revealing not only the surprisingly spiritual nature of early modern science, but Kepler's role as a neglected hero of conscience.
Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists by
Call Number: 523.1 Lig
Origins reveals the human being within the scientist in a study of the philosophical, personal, and social factors that enter into the scientific process. Twenty-seven active cosmologists--including Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, Steven Weinberg, Vera Rubin, Allan Sandage, Margaret Geller, and Alan Guth--talk candidly about their childhoods and early influences, their motivations, prejudices, and worldviews. The book's lucid introduction traces the explosion of new ideas that has recently shaken cosmological thinking. Origins explores not just the origin of the universe but also the origins of scientific thought.
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