From Eros to Gaia

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Born in England, Dyson has been a theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton since 1953. He is a brilliant researcher who can make complicated physics understandable to the lay reader, a student of the history of science, an advocate of disarmament, a philosopher, and a fine writer. All of these attributes are evident in this collection. He has thought long and hard about the past, present, and future of science, and is unafraid to express his views. In addition, he is a great storyteller.

The thirty-five essays included in this book were written over a period of more than five decades, from 1933 to 1990, with more than half dating from the 1980’s. Many of these essays, including some popularizations of science, book reviews, reflections upon the history of science, and meditations upon science policy both in democracies and Communist dictatorships, have been published before their appearance here in book form. The collection also includes several previously unpublished pieces: lectures, obituaries, personal sketches, and a science fiction story written when Dyson was nine.

For readers already fans of Dyson, this collection will provide both convenience and some new material equivalent to his best reflections upon the conduct of science by scientists and the support of science by society. For those who have never sampled this provocative scientist’s thoughts, these essays will serve as a representative sample of the writer and the philosopher.