Summary of The Sun, The Genome and the Internet

Tools of Scientific Revolutions

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The Sun, The Genome and the Internet book summary
Futurists and science fiction writers described air travel, space flight and the Internet years before any of these things became reality. So when a noted Princeton professor starts talking about forests of energy-producing trees, we think you should listen.


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Think of this book as an engaging evening with a rather authoritarian dreamer who happens to be a distinguished scientist. Based on a series of lectures delivered at the New York Public Library in the late 1990s, the book rambles through a variegated terrain of technology, history, ethics, philosophy and family pride. It is about thinking more than it is about ideas, about wondering more than it is about thinking. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells figure prominently in the bibliography, but so do serious historians of science. recommends this slender and elegantly written book for everyone with an interest in science and a sense of the marvelous.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How science can be useful
  • When a scientific project is sustainable
  • Why new technologies have the potential to make our lives great


Science: Pure Versus Applied
Godfrey Hardy, the famous mathematician and Cambridge professor, abhorred applied science and boasted that he had never done anything in his life that could be considered useful. In his book, A Mathematician’s Apology, he wrote: "A science is said to be useful...
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About the Author

Freeman J. Dyson is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. He is the author of Disturbing the Universe, Infinite in All Directions, Weapons and Hope, and many other books. He is a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Phi Beta Kappa Award in science, among many other honors. He lives in Princeton, N.J.

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