Not a scientific book, but a book about science, and more exactly about the philosophy of science. The book is an inquiry into what is science and how should we be doing it.
From the very beginning Kemeny starts distinguishing humans from other animals, and he points to language as the key to this distinction. Language is what makes us a unique species, both in good and bad ways, the bad being the miscommunications that we’ve always had because of the complexities of the semantics of language. We as humans, attach different meanings to the same words.
However, science has managed to avoid this problem, since it’s language is that of mathematics. Where meaning is inherent in the symbols there is no space for confusion. Mathematics is laser-like precise and also universal. This makes science and scientific talk easy to maintain and build on, because when we’re both working on the same ground there is much less miscommunication. The alternative would be to use words instead of mathematics, imagine how that would work out.
Scientists look for laws of nature, laws which are irrefutable general statements about the universe. They are a description of what is happening in reality out there. In order to do science, we must make the assumptions that there are laws of nature, that it is possible to learn exactly, that we can learn a good approximation to a law, and that we can approximate a law as closely as we wish.