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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.”
“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.”
“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