The Science of Leonardo
Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance
By Fritjof Capra
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400078837, 352pp.)
Publication Date: December 2, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Leonardo da Vinci's scientific explorations were virtually unknown during his lifetime, despite their extraordinarily wide range. He studied the flight patterns of birds to create some of the first human flying machines; designed military weapons and defenses; studied optics, hydraulics, and the workings of the human circulatory system; and created designs for rebuilding Milan, employing principles still used by city planners today. Perhaps most importantly, Leonardo pioneered an empirical, systematic approach to the observation of nature-what is known today as the scientific method.Drawing on over 6,000 pages of Leonardo's surviving notebooks, acclaimed scientist and bestselling author Fritjof Capra reveals Leonardo's artistic approach to scientific knowledge and his organic and ecological worldview. In this fascinating portrait of a thinker centuries ahead of his time, Leonardo singularly emerges as the unacknowledged “father of modern science.”
Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, which promotes ecology and systems thinking in primary and secondary education. Dr. Capra is the author of four international bestsellers, The Tao of Physics (1975), The Turning Point (1982), Uncommon Wisdom (1988), and The Web of Life (1996). His most recent book, The Hidden Connections, was published in 2002.Capra has been the focus of over 50 television interviews, documentaries, and talk shows in Europe, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and Japan, and has been featured in major international magazines and newspapers. He was the first subject of the BBC's new documentary series "Beautiful Minds" (2002).
“Minutely researched, vividly written, and endlessly fascinating, The Science of Leonardo opens up a realm which has never been adequately appreciated.” —Dr. Oliver Sacks“Illuminating and impassioned . . . . A profound and clear exploration of Leonardo's scientific thought.”—The San Francisco Chronicle“A delight . . . . Lucid and spirited, it sparks a whole series of ideas and questions for further investigation.”—American Scientist“A fascinating glimpse of the road not taken by Western Science. Capra makes a compelling case that the science of the future may look a lot more like Leonardo's than Bacon's or Descartes -- a science of systems, non-reductive and akin to an art.” —Michael Pollan, author of Botany of Desire and Omnivore's Dilemma“Vivid and compelling. . . . Leonardo himself would have nodded in approval of this book, because for the first time it crystallizes the entire body of his work into a coherent, unified whole.” —Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Impossible