The Workshop and the World

Philosopher and science historian Robert P. Crease describes the origins of our scientific infrastructure—the “workshop”—and the role of ten great thinkers in shaping its role. A timely exploration of what it means to practice science for the common good and the dangers of political action divorced from science, The Workshop and the World helps us understand both the origins of our current moment of great anti-science rhetoric and what we can do to help keep the modern world from falling apart.

“Science is under assault.  Crease’s vital new book explains how science acquired its authority, how that authority has benefited us all—and how the seeds of attack came from within science itself. Pulling off such an ambitious enterprise requires the training of a philosopher, the precision of a scientist, and the story-telling chops of a great biographer. Crease has them all.”

—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and The Wizard and the Prophet

“How to get angry the right way—that is the question motivating Robert Crease’s magisterial account of ten of history’s smartest men and women on the verge of making the world a better place. These brilliant, ambitious, sometimes oddball and often self-destructive thinkers, encountered obstacles the likes of which we are seeing today, as techno-scientific utopias turn into dystopias, irrationality thrives, and science denial grows. Through the lives and thoughts of these indispensable apostles of truth, Crease offers readers a profound meditation about the breaking point of modern civilization.”

—Jimena Canales, author of The Physicist and the Philosopher