In The End of Science, John Horgan makes the case that the era of truly profound scientific revelations about the universe and our place in it is over. Interviewing scientific luminaries such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, and Richard Dawkins, he demonstrates that all the big questions that can be answered have been answered, as science bumps up against fundamental limits. The world cannot give us a "theory of everything", and modern endeavors such as string theory are "ironic" and "theological" in nature, not scientific, because they are impossible to confirm. Horgan's argument was controversial in 1996, and it remains so today, still firing up debates in labs and on the internet, not least because – as Horgan details in a lengthy new introduction to this paperback reprint – ironic science is more prevalent than ever. Still, while Horgan offers his critique, grounded in the thinking of the world's leading researchers, he offers homage, too. If science is ending, he maintains, it is only because it has done its work so well.
John Horgan, a science journalist, writes the “Cross-check” blog for Scientific American, and directs the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.
– E. O. Wilson, Harvard University
"In this wonderful, provocative book [...] Horgan's approach is to take us along while he buttonholes several dozen of earth's crankiest, most opinionated, most exasperating scientists to get their views on where science is and where it's going [...] They all come to life in Horgan's narrative."
– Washington Post Book World
"An unauthorized biography of science."
– Associated Press
"A deft wordsmith and keen observer, Horgan offers lucid expositions of everything from superstring theory and Thomas Kuhn's analysis of scientific revolutions to the origin of life and sociobiology."
– Business Week