Frans Van Lunteren (VU Amsterdam): Clocks to Computers: A Machine-Based “Big Picture” of the History of Modern Science. What was our universe like before the Big Bang? The first chapter from Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified? by Paul Langacker. Wrestling with the mysteries of physics is good for your soul: David Marchese interviews Carlo Rovelli, author of Reality is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity. Sara Lippincott reviews The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll (and more). “The reality beneath is much grander and more mysterious than we ever imagined”: Sean Illing interviews Lawrence Krauss, author of The Greatest Story Ever Told — So Far: Why Are We Here?

Why humans prefer to be the center of the universe: Science contemplates the incomprehensible. How life (and death) spring from disorder: Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules — but as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics. Material issue: Jackson Lears on reclaiming a living cosmos from the dead-end tradition of Western scientism. Moti Mizrahi (FIT): What’s So Bad About Scientism? Peter Watson on the most important idea about the universe: It’s “convergence” — the fact that seemingly disparate areas of science are fundamentally linked. George Scialabba reviews Convergence: The Idea at the Heart of Science by Peter Watson.