[ExI] Zero to Infinity: The Foundations of Physics

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Nov 1 12:10:43 UTC 2008

I saw the post and decided to check up on this book - after all, as a University of Liverpool alumnus, if it was published by the university's press I might be able to get it at a discount. I can't, because it's published by World Scientific of Singapore.

I further checked my alma mater's website to find out what Mr Rowlands' speciality is. It turns out he belongs to the science communication unit. Now, that particular team is full of lovely people who often frequented my favourite pub near campus. However, their main focus is on science education and communicating science to the public. There are also people within it who are there because their multidisciplinary studies are having difficulty getting funding from other departments (such as the first PhD thesis of the department, on Egyptian mathematics - Liz Hind couldn't get funding from any archaeology or history body, but the science communication department had money to spend on research on the history of science or mathematics).

I suspect Mr Rowlands is a "natural philosopher" whose research couldn't get funding from mainstream physics bodies, and of course there's very little research money in philosophy, as Anders Sandberg likes to remind people. From reading the introductory chapter, I feel Mr Rowland's work may be more of a work of philosophy rather than physics, but I'm glad that there are at least some academics working on the philosophical underpinning of physics.



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