A simple question: Which came first, advances in navigation or successful voyages of discovery? A complicated answer: Both and neither. For more than four centuries, scientists and explorers have worked together—sometimes intentionally and sometimes not—in an ongoing, symbiotic partnership. When early explorers brought back exotic flora and fauna from newly discovered lands, scientists were able to challenge ancient authorities for the first time. As a result, scientists not only invented new navigational tools to encourage exploration, but also created a new approach to studying nature, in which observations were more important than reason and authority.
The story of the relationship between science and exploration, analyzed here for the first time, is nothing less than the history of modern science and the expanding human universe.
- Includes biographical sketches of important figures such as Jacques Cousteau, Charles Darwin, Neil Armstrong, and Edwin Hubble
- Uses primary and secondary source documents extensively in an easily readable narrative that places the history of science and exploration in its broader social and cultural context