SCIENCES

A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data

Norton. Jan. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9780393634846. pap. $28.95. SCI
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Data scientist and historian Boxer clearly explains the close relationship among astronomy, astrology, and mathematics throughout history—and what it means for the future. Boxer explores the work of astronomers, from Johannes Kepler to Carl Sagan, and compares their findings to the practices of astrologists, such as Guido Bonatti and Alan Leo. The author also compares the history, science, and psychology of these overlapping fields, using data, both past and present, to investigate the validity of astrological claims. Humanity’s continuing fascination with this topic is illustrated in our diversification of prediction models in varying fields and the ever-present popularity of horoscopes.
VERDICT While Boxer’s enthusiasm for the subject shows in his engaging narrative style, some of the more technical material will leave casual readers behind. Strongly recommended for historians with some awareness of mathematical concepts or seasoned popular science readers.

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