Science Matters: Achieving Science Literacy
I own a first edition hardcover and am currently reading it.
- I love the basic overview of every major branch of science.
- Despite the title and introduction implying the book would argue for why a basic science education is important to everyone, the book is really just a primer on various fields of the hard sciences. It ignores the soft sciences, and doesn't go into much depth on what science is or why a good science education is important.
- Early on in the book, the authors suggest that science isn't the only way to understand something and suggest philosophy and religion as alternate means of understanding. While I agree with philosophy (science is just a category of philosophy after all), religion is not a means to understand anything, but rather a stumbling block that prevents understanding.
- The books wants more illustrations. There are a lot of science concepts that are very difficult to picture in your head, and basic illustrations would help a lot toward understanding.
- The authors suggest that atoms are analogous to tiny solar systems, but this model was well out of date even in 1991, and is especially inaccurate today.
- The authors anthropomorphize too much, suggesting that photons "choose" whether they will reflect, retract, or be absorbed, that "nature created the electron," and so forth.