Show Book List  | More books by Freeman Dyson

Buy from Amazon
Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Anoop Sarkar
Time Magazine
New Scientist

Freeman Dyson

Infinite in all directions

Infinite in all directions by Freeman Dyson is a version of his 1985 Gifford Lectures, which were entitled 'In Praise of diversity'. The first part of the book looks at diversity in science, looking at such varied topics as string theory, black holes, the Oort Cloud and the matamorphosis of butterflies - and that's just one lecture. Dyson goes on to compare the position of Athens in Greek science with that of Manchester in the industrial revolution an there are chapters looking at the beginning of life on earth as well as the ultimate fate of the universe.

The second part of the book looks at diversity in human affairs, but from a scientist's point of view. Dyson spends a few chapters looking at the problems of big projects, such as space missions, and shows how a large number of smaller projects usually produce better value for money. In the later chapters of the book Dyson gives his opinions on nuclear weapons and other cold war issues - possibly a bit out of date now. I felt that the book did suffer a bit from Dyson's tendency to jump from one subject to another without spending a sufficient time on any, but it does have an extensive list of further reading for those interested in a particular topic. Dyson is a significant figure in the scientific world, and if you want to find out his opinions on a large number of subjects then this book would be a good place to start.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews