Parliament of Science, A: Science for the 21st Century

SUNY Press
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Based on interviews with eighteen prominent scientists and public policymakers from around the globe, A Parliament of Science provides a rich overview of the challenges, promises, and perils of science and technology in the twenty-first century. What can we hope for? What must we fear? How can scientists, civil society, and politicians work together to harness science and technology into a power for the good of all humanity?

Those interviewed speak candidly of their passions, hopes, and concerns as they explore the scientific and policy implications of the major issues of our time, including sustainability, politics, cloning, ethics, global climate change, the digital divide, and mass extinction of biological species. This welcome introduction to the debate on mankind’s needs for a true “science for the twenty-first century” also serves as a sobering reappraisal of where we have been, what our ingenuity has wrought for better or for worse, and where we and the whole planet seem to be headed.
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About the author

Michael Tobias is the author of twenty-five books and writer, director, and producer of nearly one hundred films, mostly concerned with global environmental and ethical issues. He is the coeditor (with J. Patrick Fitzgerald and David Rothenberg) of A Parliament of Minds: Philosophy for a New Millennium, also published by SUNY Press. At Global Vision Network, a privately funded think tank in England established in 1996, Teun Timmers is Senior Programme Developer and Gill Wright is Chief Executive.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 29, 2012
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Pages
179
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ISBN
9780791486481
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Environmental Science
Science / General
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace

“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

Praise for The Demon-Haunted World

“Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Compelling.”—USA Today

“A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences

“Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
For thousands of years humans have grappled with the idea of Nature. This enduring question has left its poignant mark on a multiplicity of images, stories, works of art, and philosophical and religious systems. In A Vision of Nature, Michael Tobias seeks to unravel the aesthetic, psychological, and philosophical impact that the Earth has had on humanity. It is a dramatic and invigorating overview of the new field of ecological aesthetics. Comprised of 10 autobiographical essays, A Vision of Nature is lavishly illustrated with art and images never before brought together in an ecological context. The author examines the mystical links between Vivaldi, Giorgione, and Dosso Dossi and draws important parallels between the Age of Exploration and the rise of the "interior landscape" in the works of van Eyck and Vermeer. Tobias examines the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean, the ascetics of Sinai and Tibet, and the Pure Land Buddhists. He introduces the reader to the Jains of India, whose lifestyle is one of the most ecologically balanced in all of human history. In profiling various artists of 19th century Europe and America, Tobias discovers incisive continuities among such luminaries as British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Austrian impressionist Emilie Mediz-Pelikan, and American intimist painters Ralph Blakelock and George Inness. Tobias finds a common, transcendent instinct that affirms rebirth over destruction in the lives of explorer Francis Kingdon Ward, storyteller Hugh Lofting, philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis, and film character King Kong. He concludes his lyrical investigations in the Antarctic, where he ponders the future of humanity and its role as caretaker of the Earth. Ultimately, the survival of humankind and of all other species hinges upon our willingness to uphold and celebrate the truth, beauty, and very sanctity of Nature.
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