The Idea at the Heart of Science


“Those seeking a grand overview of science’s greatest hits over the past century will find it here” (The Washington Post). Peter Watson’s bold history of science offers a powerful argument—that the many disparate scientific branches are converging on the same truths.

Convergence is a history of modern science with an original and significant twist. Various scientific disciplines, despite their very different beginnings, have been coming together over the years, converging and coalescing. Intimate connections have been discovered between physics and chemistry, psychology and biology, genetics and linguistics. In this groundbreaking book, Peter Watson identifies one extraordinary master narrative, capturing how the sciences are slowly resolving into one overwhelming, interlocking story about the universe.

Watson begins his narrative in the 1850s, the decade when, he argues, the convergence of the sciences began. The idea of the conservation of energy was introduced in this decade, as was Darwin’s theory of evolution—both of which rocketed the sciences forward and revealed unimagined interconnections and overlaps between disciplines. Decade after decade, the story captures every major scientific advance en route to the present, proceeding like a cosmic detective story, or the world’s most massive code-breaking effort.

“Fascinating…Highly recommended…Watson treats biology, chemistry, and physics as entangled plotlines, and readers’ excitement will build as more connections are made” (Library Journal, starred review). Told through the eyes of the scientists themselves, charting each discovery and breakthrough, Convergence is a “massive tour de force” (Publishers Weekly) and a gripping way to learn what we now know about the universe and where our inquiries are heading.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 576 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476754352 | 
  • February 2018
List Price $19.99 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer

Read an Excerpt

More Books from this Author

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014

From one of England’s most distinguished intellectual historians comes “an exhilarating ride…that will stand the test of time as a masterful account of” (The Boston Globe) one of the West’s most important intellectual movements: Atheism.

In 1882, Friedrich Nietzche declared that “God is dead” and ever since tens of thousands of brilliant, courageous, thoughtful individuals have devoted their creative energies to devising ways to...

About the Author

Peter Watson

Peter Watson is an intellectual historian, journalist, and the author of thirteen books, including Convergence; Ideas: A History; The Age of Atheists; The German Genius; The Medici Conspiracy; and The Great Divide. He has written for The Sunday Times, The New York Times, the Observer, and the Spectator. He lives in London.