In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history,
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries,
from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford,
from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria
to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London.
He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times
not only did not understand what we now know about the world
but also did not understand what there is to understand, nor how to understand it.
Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries
as the curious backward movement of the planets or the rise and fall of the tides,
the modern discipline of science eventually emerged.
Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations
between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.
To Explain the World is an illuminating exploration
of how we have come to consider and analyze the world around us.