Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers – poets, actors, journalists – they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They don’t fight science and they don’t fight technology… Neil deGrasse Tyson


illustration from 'Grist Wind-mills at East Hampton,' Picturesque America, New York, 1872. HOOK WINDMILL IN FOREGROUND, PANTIGO WINDMILL IN BACKGROUND - Hook Windmill, North Main Street at Pantigo Road, East Hampton, Suffolk County, NY

illustration from ‘Grist Wind-mills at East Hampton,’ Picturesque America, New York, 1872. HOOK WINDMILL IN FOREGROUND, PANTIGO WINDMILL IN BACKGROUND – Hook Windmill, North Main Street at Pantigo Road, East Hampton, Suffolk County, NY

The essential engineer : why science alone will not solve our global problems  Henry Petroski  New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010  Hardcover. 1st ed. x, 274 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [231]-258) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

WINDMILL, LOOKING WEST - Faraway Ranch, Cattle Tank Retaining Wall & Windmill, Willcox, Cochise County, AZ

WINDMILL, LOOKING WEST – Faraway Ranch, Cattle Tank Retaining Wall & Windmill, Willcox, Cochise County, AZ

An eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources. While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental, and other factors that science often does not consider, that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns.

Historic American Buildings Survey E. H. Pickering, Photographer December 1936 WINDMILL - Federalsburg Windmill, Oak Grove Raod, Federalsburg, Caroline County, MD

Historic American Buildings Survey E. H. Pickering, Photographer December 1936 WINDMILL – Federalsburg Windmill, Oak Grove Raod, Federalsburg, Caroline County, MD

Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy — among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol — explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a “sunshade” in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What’s needed is not so much invention as engineering.

GENERAL VIEW OF ELI WINDMILL ON STEEL TOWER AT GEORGE STUCKENOLZ FARM ABOUT 6 MILES SOUTH OF NEBRASKA CITY WEST OF NEBRASKA HIGHWAY 75. - Kregel Windmill Company Factory, 1416 Central Avenue, Nebraska City, Otoe County, NE

GENERAL VIEW OF ELI WINDMILL ON STEEL TOWER AT GEORGE STUCKENOLZ FARM ABOUT 6 MILES SOUTH OF NEBRASKA CITY WEST OF NEBRASKA HIGHWAY 75. – Kregel Windmill Company Factory, 1416 Central Avenue, Nebraska City, Otoe County, NE

Just as the great achievements of centuries past — the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing — once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems — and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action.

VIEW OF ECLIPSE WINDMILL TAKEN FROM THE EAST - Canon Ranch Eclipse Windmill, Sheffield, Pecos County, TX

VIEW OF ECLIPSE WINDMILL TAKEN FROM THE EAST – Canon Ranch Eclipse Windmill, Sheffield, Pecos County, TX

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