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Download The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems, by Henry Petroski Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (76 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry Petroski Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, The Essential Engineer is an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources.

While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental—and other factors that science often does not consider—that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns.

Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy—among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol—explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a sunshade in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What is needed is not so much invention as engineering.

Just as the great achievements of centuries past—the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing—once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "Analyzing both historical and contemporary examples, from climate change to public health, Petroski shows how science often overlooks structural, economic, environmental and aesthetic dimensions that routinely challenge engineers. Moreover, he says, sometimes science trails technology, as when engineers had to design the first moon landing vehicles before scientists learned its surface composition. Far from being hostile toward science, Petroski pleads for continued cooperation between science and engineering. When, as Petroski laments, even President Obama has sometimes omitted engineering in touting science, this book could hardly be more timely. Publishers Weekly 
     
  • With customary acuity and variety, Petroski is sure to please his established readership with these interesting disquisitions on technology. Booklist 

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Eric | 11/21/2013

    " Slogged through it, but it wasn't very enlightening -- interesting perspective, but the points didn't seem to add much value. Did have some interesting anecdotes and enumeration of technological advances (past and future). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Thomas | 2/19/2013

    " After a while, this reads like a bunch of random facts thrown together without any purpose or cohesion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Deborah Laux | 8/2/2012

    " Engineers are very under-rated. good read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rachel Bayles | 6/13/2011

    " No surprises, but a good airplane read. "

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