As the author of this book I am not really qualified to rate it. I think it offers an unique view of the history of science and civilization and is very good but could of course be improved; so I gave it four stars.
The main reason why I am adding this "review" is to give access to the book's contents list so that you have a better idea what you will receive for your money:
Prologue How did we get here?
Chapter 1 Definitions and overview
Chapter 2 Numbers, the basis for science
Chapter 3 The calendar problem; living with the seasons
Chapter 4 The new age of science in Greece
Chapter 5 The Roman Empire, from Greek science to Christianity
Chapter 6 Science and technology in India
Chapter 7 Science and technology in China
Chapter 8 Medieval Europe and Arabic science
Chapter 9 Science in the Old World and in the New World
Chapter 10 The new cosmology and the Age of Reason
Chapter 11 Science and the bourgeoisie
Chapter 12 The impact of science on philosophy
Chapter 13 From alchemy to chemistry
Chapter 14 Evolution, the answer to the biological explosion
Chapter 15 North America, the beginning of marine science, rise of the industrialized society
Chapter 16 Atoms, quanta, nuclear science and the nuclear bomb
Chapter 17 Medical science – from body to mind
Chapter 18 Continental drift; the scientific revolution in geology
Chapter 19 The digital computer and the expanding universe
Chapter 20 From Mendel to the Human Genome Project
Epilogue Where do we go from here?
As you can see the book covers a lot of ground, so don't expect in-depth analysis of every issue. Rather, the book concentrates on showing how the many issues relate to each other and are intertwined in their development.
From the Prologue:
The world of the 21st century has become so interconnected that the phrase "the global village" has become acceptable as a term to describe modern society. Today's information technology links people and places from all civilizations, and national economies have become increasingly interconnected. Whether it is commerce or media, manufacturing or agriculture, the advancing globalization of human activity would be unthinkable without the development of science and technology. Their contributions have not always been beneficial; indeed, many would argue that science is to be blamed for the deterioration of the global environment that we are witnessing today. But is it science that, through its applications, leads to global warming, the ozone hole, weapons of mass destruction and widespread poverty? Or do these developments occur through actions of those who control science and use its findings for their own aims?
Science itself is valueless. In the realm of science, criteria for judgment of any action can only derive from the tenets of scientific ethics. Science honours the person who increases our insight into the laws of nature. It is not concerned with the use of the scientist's discoveries. Whether the discovery of radioactivity leads to a new therapy for cancer treatment or to the nuclear bomb is not an issue for science. It is an issue for scientists who, as members of the society of their time, have to make ethical decisions just like everyone else. The foundations for such decisions require an understanding of history and of the laws that govern the development of societies from antiquity to the present.
This book will look at the interaction between science, technology, civilization and society through the millennia, beginning with the earliest human civilizations and ending at the dawn of the current century. It will ask what drives people to scientific study and examine who benefits from the results of scientific studies. It will investigate the degree to which a civilization depends on its scientists and trace the development of global science from its infancy to today.