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Science Unshackled

How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to Be the Basis for Modern Life

C. Renée James

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Fascinating stories that describe the unlikely path from quirky idea to useful and essential knowledge.

Why in the world are we paying for all this "basic" research? The answer to this question becomes clear in this romp through the "seemingly useless" world of pure science, where one thing leads to another in ways that result in major scientific advancements.

With a novelistic style, C. Renée James reveals how obscure studies of natural phenomena—including curved space-time, poisonous cone snails, exploding black holes, and the precise chemical makeup of the sun—led unexpectedly to WiFi, GPS…

Fascinating stories that describe the unlikely path from quirky idea to useful and essential knowledge.

Why in the world are we paying for all this "basic" research? The answer to this question becomes clear in this romp through the "seemingly useless" world of pure science, where one thing leads to another in ways that result in major scientific advancements.

With a novelistic style, C. Renée James reveals how obscure studies of natural phenomena—including curved space-time, poisonous cone snails, exploding black holes, and the precise chemical makeup of the sun—led unexpectedly to WiFi, GPS, genetic sequencing, pain medications, and cancer treatments. Science Unshackled brings both science and scientists to life and shows how simple curiosity can result in life-changing breakthroughs.

Scientists engaged in basic research, funded in large part by governments around the globe and throughout the centuries, never know when exploring small questions will have big impacts. But, by following the scientific method, disciplined inquiry can lead to wondrous and practical discoveries that benefit all of us in the end. The next time someone asks you why "the government" wastes its money on weird research, recall the intriguing stories James has told and tell them the answer.

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Science Unshackled

C. Renée James

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Reviews

Celebration of ingenuity and the scientific process... filled with troves of examples of how scientific research can transform our lives in important yet often unpredictable ways.

Possessing a talent for crisp analogies that elucidate complex scientific concepts, the author elaborates on five examples in clear, easily digestible prose.

Science has surprised humans with incredible insights and great strides in the quality of life for centuries. Renée James’s book walks you through the amazing relationship between scientific research and producing a better world around us—it’s an inspiring, eye-opening journey.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421415000
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I: Finding Ourselves
1. A Brief History of Timing
2. Going with the Flow
3. From Principia to Principe
4. The Attraction of Time
5. Fine-tuning Our Clocks
6. Around

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I: Finding Ourselves
1. A Brief History of Timing
2. Going with the Flow
3. From Principia to Principe
4. The Attraction of Time
5. Fine-tuning Our Clocks
6. Around the World in 80 Hours (Give or Take)
Part II: Identity Crisis
7. One Strand
8. Two Strands
9. The First Rungs of the Ladder
10. Interchangeable Pieces
11. Igniting the Fuse
12. Breaking Down, Building Up
13. A Curious Boy
14. Copycat
15. Molecule of the Year
16. The Genetic Bread Machine
Part III: Finding a Hot Spot
17. A Universal "Hot Spot"
18. Classic Black
19. A Tunnel to Oblivion
20. Chasing Wild Geese
21. Going Wireless
22. Where Credit Is Due
23. Anatomy of a Successful Failure
Part IV: Pick Your Poison
24. Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
25. Barking up the Right Tree
26. The Inside Story on Pain
27. A Bitter Sting
28. A Simple Question
29. The Gift of the Magus
Part V: Dreaming of the Star Treatment
30. Ingredients of the Stars
31. The Sun's Secret Recipe
32. Reading between the Lines
33. Through a Star Darkly
34. The Opacity Project
35. The Iron Lady and the Gold Standard
36. Therapy of the Stars
Afterword
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

C. Renée James

C. Renée James is a professor of physics at Sam Houston State University. She is the author of Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted, also published by Johns Hopkins.