"Like a good tour book, [this volume] takes us to all the principal locations in the realm and shows us not only what's to be found there, but also its history, its effect on history, philosophy, technology, and society, and vignettes about local heroes... Silver bas a real knack for explaining difficult ideas with insight and clarity. He knows how to use an apt metaphor and understands that the metaphor is never enough. And his writing is engaging... [A] comprehensive, balanced, informative, and charming book... For [those] curious to know what science is really all about, this book makes very good one-stop shopping."
-The New York Times Book Review
"In the tradition of Jacob Bronowski, Stephen Jay Gould, and Carl Sagan, Silver writes with extraordinary grace and sparkling wit-and with a comprehensiveness unparalleled in science writing. His book takes the reader on a guided tour not only of the history of science but of the very nature of scientific inquiry and its role in our society... Throughout the book, it is science as the height of human reason, and reason as the surest guide to knowledge, that enlivens the story of our emergence from ignorance and superstition to the ability to fathom the deepest mysteries of nature. For anyone interested in but intimidated by the scientific enterprise, The Ascent of Science provides an inviting assessment of the discipline. That it does so without diminishing either the complexity or the awe-inspiring power of science is a major accomplishment, one that opens the door to humanity's greatest intellectual adventure and reveals the many ways in which science has altered the way we see the world and ourselves."
-Research and Innovation
"Silver does more than explain scientific achievements with wit and grace: For him, science is fun. In this spirit, he leads a whirlwind tour through the wondrous worlds of molecular biology, animal evolution, quantum mechanics, and relativity."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and very well written... One of the most stimulating overviews of science in recent years."
"Considering the in-depth... character of this overview of the scientific enterprise, the accessibility of Silver's narrative is remarkable."