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Why Icebergs Float: Exploring Science in Everyday Life

Why Icebergs Float: Exploring Science in Everyday Life

Why Icebergs Float: Exploring Science in Everyday Life

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Book Details:

Publisher:UCL Press
Pages:222 pages
Size:13.79 MB


This is not a normal science book. It’s written for people who would like to know more about science, but who may feel unsure where to start. Perhaps science passed them by at school; maybe the science shelves in the local bookshop appear daunting. Yet, despite this, many of them remain just as curious about the world around them as they were in primary school. They just lack the basic concepts needed to begin understanding things from a scientifc point of view. This is a pity, and an unnecessary imbalance in their lives. After all, people manage to pick up ideas about politics and society, literature and history as they go through their lives, whether they made much of these subjects at school or not.

Why Icebergs Float aims to put this right by introducing some fundamental ideas from science in a radically different way. Unlike traditional science books it doesn’t attempt to explain a particular subject, such as genetics or gravity, from a scientist’s point of view. Instead, each chapter takes a question an ordinary person might be interested in as its starting point. The narrative picks up on things anyone might ask about, or may have noticed in the world about them, and discusses them before launching into relevant scientifc explanation, always using plain language. It doesn’t attempt to ‘teach’ a subject; it follows a path of inquiry you might take. In short, this is a book that starts with real life issues and leads into scientifc ideas.

But how do we know the kinds of question people might wish to ask; and how they might choose to discuss them, given the opportunity? This book is based on discussions held over many years with groups of people from different walks of life, who wanted to discuss science simply because they were curious about things. The one thing they had in common was an absence of training in any branch of science, though they were generally interested in other aspects of life – politics, society, literature and history, for example – and wanted to make good the imbalance in relation to science.



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