Convergence: Book summary and reviews of Convergence by Peter Watson

Convergence

The Deepest Idea in the Universe

by Peter Watson

Convergence by Peter Watson X
Convergence by Peter Watson
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Book Summary

A brilliant history of science over the past 150 years that offers a powerful new argument - that the many disparate scientific branches are converging on the same truths.

Convergence is a history of modern science with an original and significant twist. Various scientific disciplines, despite their very different beginnings, and disparate areas of interest have been coming together over the past 150 years, converging and coalescing, to identify one extraordinary master narrative, one overwhelming interlocking coherent story: the history of the universe.

Intimate connections between physics and chemistry have been revealed as have the links between quantum chemistry and molecular biology. Astronomy has been augmented by particle physics, psychology has been increasingly aligned with physics, with chemistry and even with economics. Genetics has been harmonized with linguistics, botany with archaeology, climatology with myth. This is a simple insight but one with profound consequences.

Convergence is, as Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg has put it, 'The deepest thing about the universe.' This book does not, however, tell the story by beginning at the beginning and ending at the end. It is much more revealing, more convincing, and altogether more thrilling to tell the story as it emerged, as it began to fall into place, piece by piece, converging tentatively at first, but then with increasing speed, vigor and confidence. The overlaps and interdependence of the sciences, the emerging order that they are gradually uncovering, is without question the most enthralling aspect of twenty-first-century science.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material." - Kirkus

"Bringing in ideas from geology, mythology, psychology, economics, and more to investigate the origins of civilization, Watson persuasively presents a deep and challenging idea." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Peter Watson

Peter Watson was born in 1943 and was educated at universities in Durham, London and Rome. He has been on the staff of the Sunday Times and The Times, and has written for many other newspapers. He is the author of over a dozen books including Ideas: A History from Fire to Freud. He lives in London.

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