New from Simon & Schuster

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne
The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
Rocks by Joe Perry
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
As You Wish by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
Brilliant Blunders

Brilliant Blunders

From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe

  • bestseller
Drawing on the lives of five great scientists, this “scholarly, insightful, and beautifully written book” (Martin Rees, author of From Here to Infinity) illuminates the path to scientific discovery.

Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein all made groundbreaking contributions to their fields—but each also stumbled badly. Darwin’s theory of natural selection shouldn’t have worked, according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Lord Kelvin gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling, the world’s premier chemist, constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a “Big Bang” origin to the universe (ironically, the caustic name he gave to this event endured long after his erroneous objections were disproven). And Albert Einstein speculated incorrectly about the forces of the universe—and that speculation opened the door to brilliant conceptual leaps. As Mario Livio luminously explains in this “thoughtful meditation on the course of science itself” (The New York Times Book Review), these five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors.

“Thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written” (The Washington Post), Brilliant Blunders is a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists—and the mistakes as well as the achievements that made them famous.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439192375 | 
  • May 2014
Add to Cart
List Price $16.00
Usually ships within 1 business day

Video

Mario Livio on Brilliant Blunders

Mario Livio shows how even geniuses make major mistakes and why errors are an essential part of achieving breakthroughs.

Videos related to this book

Read an Excerpt

More Books from this Author

About the Author

Mario Livio
Photograph (c) NASA, ESA, and J. Coyle Jr. (for Space Telescope Science Institute)

Mario Livio

Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). He is the author of The Golden Ratio, a highly acclaimed book for which he received the International Pythagoras Prize and the Peano Prize; The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved; the national bestseller Brilliant Blunders; and The Accelerating Universe. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!