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Richard Panek

The invisible century - Einstein, Freud and the search for hidden universes

In this book Panek compares the work of two very well known scientists - Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Freud's work on the unconscious mind is linked to the hidden workings of the universe which Einstein played a part in uncovering - hence the 'Invisible' in the title - although I do think that this analogy is pushed a bit too far.
There is also the question of which 'Century' the title refers to. The implication seems to be that it is the 20th Century - a look at how the work of Einstein an Freud affected future thought. However, I found that more of the book was concerned with the history of their subjects, and that much more could have been written about their influence on later science.

The book is easy to read, and would be useful for someone wanting to find out more about the lives of these two scientists. However I found that reading it was more likely to suggest new questions than to answer them. For instance, Freud started off pursuing a standard scientific career, and strove to apply the scientific method to his work. On the other hand Einstein started off as an outsider and judged his theories on his personal ideas of what must be right rahter than experimental evidence. So how come Einstein's work is now at the centre of science, whilst Freud's is sometimes seen as being on the fringe. I would have liked more discussion of questions such as this in Panek's book.

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Hardcover 368 pages  
ISBN: 1841152773
Salesrank: 12840642
Published: 2005 Harpercollins Pub Ltd
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 272 pages  
ISBN: 1841152773
Salesrank: 3875062
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2005 Fourth Estate
Marketplace::Used from £1.50
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover
ISBN: 1841152773
Salesrank:
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: Fourth Estate
Marketplace::Used from CDN$ 10.96
Buy from Amazon.ca