The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs (Paperback)

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From Smithsonian Books, The Department of Mad Scientists is the first trade book ever on DARPA—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—the maverick and controversial agency whose futuristic work has had amazing military and civilian application, from the Internet to GPS to driverless cars. Michael Belfiore, author of Rocketeers, visited science research sites across the country to provide this unprecedented look at the people who shape our country’s future technology.

Praise For…


If you want to know who really invented the Internet, or how brain waves can control robotic limbs, or how smart cars will become brilliant, this is your book. A must-read for those interested in invention in the modern age

“A fascinating introduction to a veritable pantheon of geek gods who quietly shaped the face of modern technology.”

“An entertaining and information rich account of a small, efficient government agency that often turned 20th century sci-fi into 21st century technical reality. Belfiore will inspire young readers of a scientific bent to flood DARPA with their resumes.”

“An inspiring book about a crucial government agency (DARPA) with a driving spirit to do the impossible and to do it fast. We all need to read this book.”

[DARPA’s] history has never been told at the level of detail and with such mastery as in this book by Michael Belfiore

“An expansive look at one of the most important agencies not only in the Department of Defense, but in American history.”

PRAISE FOR ROCKETEERS: “Belfiore excels at painting the world of NewSpace.”

“A riveting, you-are-there account of how this ragtag collection of innovative thinkers, brave pilots, and bold visionaries is--right now--launching one of the most exciting new industries in history. Belfiore’s eloquent writing and exhaustive reporting really bring this mysterious, secretive world to life.”

“That this story is still unfolding makes it especially exciting to read. These men are still in their workshops, tinkering their way into orbit.”

“The commerical space race is heating up so fast you need a cheat sheet to keep track of all the billionaires and gamblers vying to be the first private entrepreneur to blast paying customers into orbit. [Belfiore] does a stellar job introducing an intriguing cast of characters.”

“The privitization of space travel is an essential step toward realizing our cosmic destiny. In his engaging, highly readable ROCKETEERS, Michael Belfiore tells the fascinating story of the entrepreneurs who have already made it happen.”


Product Details
ISBN: 9780062000651
ISBN-10: 0062000659
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2010
Pages: 320
Language: English