Why did what we now call science develop as it did in Western Europe ? What mode it such a powerful force for the development of technology ? Why did other cultures - such as China, which has had a continuous history of intellectual inquiry far longer than Western Europe - not develop a similar science ? What can we expect of the future-and of predictions of the future ?
In these essays, Professor Seltz, President Emeritus of Rockefeller University, investigates the role of science and technology in modern society ; its origins in ancient Greece and Rome ; the remarkable consolidation in the Islamic world ; the expansion of the center of scientific activity from Western Europe to North America and, most recently, to Japan ; and the role science and technology play in shaping each other. In addition, he discusses how our perceptions affect the understanding of science ; the relationship between " big science " and " little science "; and the role science and technology can play in alleviating environmental concerns, particularly with respect to nuclear science.