Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist

Basic. Dec. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780465074969. pap. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465044917. SCI
Using story as illustration, Orzel (physics, Union Coll.; How To Teach Physics to Your Dog and How To Teach Relativity to Your Dog) contends that, whether they know it or not, ordinary people constantly act as scientists in their everyday lives. The author argues that people should not regard science as esoteric, exclusive, or inaccessible; rather, they should recognize that human beings naturally employ the scientific method when looking at the world, thinking of models to explain phenomena, testing theories, and telling others about discoveries. Orzel demonstrates the universality of science by pointing to examples of the scientific method at work in everything from baking to fantasy sports. He connects these examples to stories about scientists who have made important findings while asking questions about the weight of the earth, the properties of atoms, or the correct time at sea. Similar to Richard Rhodes or Dava Sobel, Orzel makes complicated scientific narratives accessible to lay readers.
VERDICT Recommended for undergraduate students, science educators, and readers with an amateur interest in science or science history.
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