Review of In Search of the True Universe: The Tools, Shaping, and Cost of Cosmological Thought by Martin Harwit

Phillip Helbig

The Observatory, 134, 1241, 217–220 (August 2014)


This is a book review of In Search of the True Universe: The Tools, Shaping, and Cost of Cosmological Thought by Martin Harwit. As someone who has had a distinguished career as an astronomer, served on more and higher-level committees than most of his colleagues, and been the director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Harwit is well qualified to write a book such as this which discusses not only the history of science in some detail, but also the surrounding sociological and political framework. Many events are described from his personal, behind-the-scenes perspective. Though the emphasis is on the sociology and politics of science, it is obvious from the "example" chapters that the discussion of science itself stems from a scientist who is familiar with the details of the material. I recommend the book to all interested in the sociology and politics of science or the last hundred years of astrophysics.


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