This episode turned out longer than I planned. After I recorded a piece about Lee Smolin’s book The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the fall of a science, and What Comes Next, I decided to wait until the next episode to discuss my Audible.com top 10 for 2006.
I think Smolin’s book makes an important contribution on several levels. First, it is an excellent review of contemporary physics and puts string theory into context. It is also a candid look at the trends in contemporary science that are stifling original thinking and creativity. It is a passionate defense of the traditional scientific method (making predictions and testing them with experiments). If physics, which has always been thought of the purest science could lose site of its principles, we are reminded that science is a human endeavor, prone to human error and human desires.
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Note: This post was amended on October 5, 2009 (to fix a glitch in WordPress)
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