Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy. The Joy of Science presents 8 short lessons on how to unlock the clarity, empowerment, and joy of thinking and living a little more scientifically.
In this brief guide to leading a more rational life, acclaimed physicist Jim Al-Khalili invites readers to engage with the world as scientists have been trained to do. The scientific method has served humankind well in its quest to see things as they really are, and underpinning the scientific method are core principles that can help us all navigate modern life more confidently. Discussing the nature of truth and uncertainty, the role of doubt, the pros and cons of simplification, the value of guarding against bias, the importance of evidence-based thinking, and more, Al-Khalili shows how the powerful ideas at the heart of the scientific method are deeply relevant to the complicated times we live in and the difficult choices we make.
Read this book and discover the joy of science. It will empower you to think more objectively, see through the fog of your own preexisting beliefs, and lead a more fulfilling life.
Awards and Recognition
- A Waterstones Best Science Book of the Year
"Engaging and illuminating, al-Khalili argues that a scientific approach is “one of humankind’s great riches and the birthright of everyone""—Hannah Beckerman, Observer
"A little book of calm that is very welcome in these strange times."—Simon Ings, New Scientist
"Professor Jim Al-Khalili of Surrey University is a distinguished theoretical physicist who has also worked wonders in making science accessible and engaging. This short book encapsulates his achievement in its combination of concision (under 200 pages), lucidity and rigour. . . . In practice, this is not just a book about science but a short guide to how we live now."—Matthew D’Ancona, Tortoise Media
"Al-Khalili aims to empower readers to use critical thinking to evaluate the news, as well as their own knowledge and beliefs. He succeeds easily, with each chapter dedicated to a lesson readers can apply to their lives. . . . Readers overwhelmed by information overload will find this a balm."—Publishers Weekly
"It’s an easily digestible, pocket-sized guide in how to think more scientifically, and how this can benefit us in everyday life."—Sara Rigby, BBC Science Focus
“Jim Al-Khalili has distilled the very essence of science. This book is packed full of joy, inspiration, and real wisdom.”—Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science, University of Birmingham
“Jim Al-Khalili eloquently reminds us of all the reasons to celebrate science. A lovely little book that will serve you well as a trusted guide in this troubled post-truth era.”—Sabine Hossenfelder, physicist and author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
“The Joy of Science pulls back the curtain on the essential nature of science and tackles the confusions the public confronts in understanding how it’s done. I highly recommend Al-Khalili’s book to anyone, scientist or not, interested in thinking more scientifically.”—S. James Gates Jr., coauthor of Proving Einstein Right
“In the age of post-truth politics, when misinformation and conspiracy theories flood social media and endanger lives, Al-Khalili’s book is a patient, gentle, and humane corrective. The Joy of Science is a call for a more rational and discerning attitude to what we experience in our lives, guided by respect for expertise and critical judgement but also by compassion.”—Philip Ball, author of Beyond Weird and Curiosity
“Science is a way of thinking about and understanding the world—and in this captivating book, Al-Khalili argues that we all should be thinking more scientifically. Writing exquisitely about the complexities of scientific concepts and ideas, he uncovers our biases and dispels common myths and misunderstandings about how the world and science works. His highly entertaining book is crucial reading for all of us, especially at this time of global pandemic and climate crisis, when finding solutions depends critically on a deeper understanding of what science is and isn’t.”—Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, author of Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain
“Jim Al-Khalili is justly celebrated as a leading expositor of science. In this book, he distills the nature and limits of our scientific knowledge and highlights how the scientific mindset can help us in everyday life. His wise precepts are especially welcome at a time when, despite science’s triumphs, public discourse is bedeviled more than ever by fake news and conspiracy theories. We’d all be better citizens if we took his message to heart—this book deserves wide readership.”—Martin Rees, author of On the Future
“This is a beautiful, straightforward, and readable little book with so much to say about how and why we do science. I recommend it to anyone in these crazy times who wants to understand the meaning and value of following the science.”—Daniel M. Altmann, Imperial College London
“This pithy and insightful book provides readers with a collection of fun and timely ideas in an accessible way.”—Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden
“Jim Al-Khalili’s latest masterpiece beautifully conveys just how profound, intimate, and unique our connection with science is. The Joy of Science awakens the scientific thinking that is deeply rooted in all of us, revealing not only what its methods truly are but also how one can find enlightenment by trying them out.”—Claudia de Rham, Imperial College London
“Al-Khalili’s timely and inspirational writing allows us all to experience a touch of the ‘joy’ of science.”—Helen Pearson, Chief Magazine Editor of Nature