The sparks from the spirit of science include not only new knowledge but also innovations, the major ingredients of development and sustainability. This book creates an understanding of science and its role in innovation and sustainable development and points out unfilled gaps in human development. It highlights opportunities for societies to overcome obstacles in development. The book is written in an easy-to-understand manner, avoiding technical jargon, and contains case studies, practical examples, and historical perspectives. It is intended for a general, especially young readership and will appeal to those curious about the nature of science and its benefits, together with its possible pitfalls.
- Presents simplified picture of science and its benefits, written in non-technical language, and illustrated by a famous cartoonist.
- Explains how science leads to new knowledge, innovation, and sustainable development.
- Points out unfilled gaps in human development and potential risks of science.
- Looks beyond sustainability in the future of humankind.
This book has an important message for anyone concerned about the future of mankind and our planet. Elegantly and concisely, Prof. Yuthavong traces our efforts through millennia to understand this world and ourselves and science’s pivotal role therein. He notes science’s evolving nature (we still don’t have a single theory or a theory of everything) but rightly emphasizes that scientific advances and innovations in and of themselves will not be enough for a sustainable future; they must be coupled with a better understanding of human nature and human society (where science could also be of great help) and supported by good policies and good governance. He also warns us against some of the current practices that could have disastrous consequences and highlights the importance of sustainability in all our current and future development endeavors.~Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Former Vice President of Egypt, and Director General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency, Austria
Prof. Yuthavong guides us through an absorbing panorama of human progress ignited by sparks from the spirit of science throughout all ages and across all continents. He writes with humility and deep conviction that scientific and technology innovations tempered by social justice and common humanity will lead humankind to sustainability.~Academician Dato’ Ir. (Dr.) Lee Yee Cheong, Chairman, UNESCO International Scientific, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation
Prof. Yuthavong revitalizes the concepts of science and innovation in Sparks from the Spirit. He displays a passionate love affair with science and lights a match that will surely enable any nonscientist to find his or her way in a dark room. People like me will be enticed to reach for more books about science.~Mechai Viravaidya, Population and Community Development Association, Thailand
This most informative and enthralling narrative, anchored with a sound knowledge of science and the highest levels of public policy decision making, authoritatively links creativity, wonder, exploration, inventiveness, and development with the central role of science, sparking the quest for sustainability since the dawn of civilization. The book is well structured. The chapters can be read sequentially or as stand-alone chapters with specific themes and thrust and with historical and contemporary examples. Sparks from the Spirit is an invaluable resource for arousing interest and igniting action, particularly in decision makers in governments, business, and academia, toward a sustainable future and beyond. The book provides many inputs into various aspects of sustainability for both society and the environment.~Nay Htun, Founder and Hon. Patron, Green Economy Green Growth Association, Myanmar
For most laypersons, science is at best worthy but dry and boring or at worst the root of our major problems. Where Sparks from the Spirit excels is in pointing out the beauty of science and its role in inspiring a sense of wonder and the urge to explore. It highlights the open-ended nature of the enterprise, always growing, always embracing new dimensions. The book shows that science is not just a European invention but has major contributions from Asia (especially China and India) and Arab/Islamic civilisations. Through numerous examples, the book also conveys a rich array of scientific discoveries benefitting humanity.~Gustav Victor Joseph Nossal, University of Melbourne, Australia