From Copernicus, who put the earth in orbit around the sun, to Isaac Newton, who gave the world universal gravitation, the Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries transformed the way Europeans understood their world. In this book, Peter Dear offers an accessible introduction to the origins of modern science for students and general readers. This second edition further explores the practice and influence of alchemy, the social standing of early scientists, and the role of medicine and medical practitioners.
... the picture of a superstitious and credulous Europe in 1500 giving way, by 1700, to a cool, rationalistic, scientific Europe continues to have a strong hold on our views of the past. The astrology, demonology, and so forth of fifteenth-century figures [...] were ingredients of the intellectual ferment of the next couple of centuries; they were not philosophical negatives of a new rationality that would sweep them away.
Though the book focuses more on physical sciences than biology and medicine, this serves the author well, as the metascientific advances of the period were concentrated within astronomy, physics, and mathematics. Even those readers without grade pressure will find that careful scrutiny pays off well; Dear includes a huge list of resources to follow up with after finishing this work of necessarily limited scope. Revolutionizing the Sciences offers a broad perspective on how modern--and even postmodern--science came to be, and for that it deserves wide attention. --Rob Lightner