Galileo's Gout

  • by Gerald Weissmann
  • Narrated by Nick Sullivan
  • 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Embryonic stem cell research. Evolution versus intelligent design. The transformation of medicine into "healthcare". Climate change. Never before has science been so intertwined with politics; never have we been more dependent on scientific solutions for the preservation of the species.As at home with Galileo and his daughter in Florence as he is with Diderot in Enlightenment France, William and Alice James in fin-de-siècle Boston, or the latest research on the genome, Gerald Weissmann distills the lessons of history to guide us through our troubled age. His message is clear: "Experimental science is our defense - perhaps our best defense - against humbug and the Endarkenment."


What the Critics Say

"Oliver Sacks, Richard Selzer, Lewis Thomas . . . Weissmann is in this noble tradition." (Los Angeles Times)
"Weissmann introduces us to a new way of thinking about the connections between art and medicine." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This book is supposed to be a warning about the coming Endarkenment, the process by which religion is returning society to the pre-Enlightenment era and there are passages, which are persuasive. As a project though, it feels like an awkward mix between the polemic he wanted to write and the science anecdotes his editor insisted on.

The book leaps, with apparent unconcern, between the Endarkenment argument, side-tracks about his mentors the history of rheumatology and other unconnected musings.

Individually any one passage of this book is interesting; together it makes the large and eventually insupportable assumption that the reader/ listener is prepared to sit back and let him ramble, without narrative or end in sight.

Sadly, despite the underlying theme of science-writing as a tool for combating the invidious slip away from Reason, this book ultimately is an argument for a separation between research scientists and the publishing community.
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- Helen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-04-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios