- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
A Little History of Scienceby William Bynum
Synopses & Reviews
Science is fantastic. It tells us about the infinite reaches of space, the tiniest living organism, the human body, the history of Earth. People have always been doing science because they have always wanted to make sense of the world and harness its power. From ancient Greek philosophers through Einstein and Watson and Crick to the computer-assisted scientists of today, men and women have wondered, examined, experimented, calculated, and sometimes made discoveries so earthshaking that people understood the world — or themselves — in an entirely new way.
This inviting book tells a great adventure story: the history of science. It takes readers to the stars through the telescope, as the sun replaces the earth at the center of our universe. It delves beneath the surface of the planet, charts the evolution of chemistry's periodic table, introduces the physics that explain electricity, gravity, and the structure of atoms. It recounts the scientific quest that revealed the DNA molecule and opened unimagined new vistas for exploration.
Emphasizing surprising and personal stories of scientists both famous and unsung, A Little History of Science traces the march of science through the centuries. The book opens a window on the exciting and unpredictable nature of scientific activity and describes the uproar that may ensue when scientific findings challenge established ideas. With delightful illustrations and a warm, accessible style, this is a volume for young and old to treasure together.
“[An] entertaining history...for curious teen and adult readers.” Publishers Weekly
“A super-accessible introduction to science.” Booklist
“Bynum's lively narrative…certainly delivers on his opening line: 'Science is special.'” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Beginning with the Babylonians and ending with the World Wide Web, Bynum manages to squeeze in nearly every essential scientific idea and discovery while also discussing most major disciplines….I happily confess I learned a lot." Andrew Robinson, New Scientist
"One advantage of a brief history is that this impressive roll of modern achievements unfolds while the leaps of prior centuries are still fresh in mind. That juxtaposition of what we know now verses what we knew then is breathtaking to contemplate. In Mr. Bynum's telling, a little history goes a long way." Alan Hirshfeld, The Wall Street Journal
‘This freshest entry in Yale's youngster-friendly Little History series covers science from Babylonian astronomy to the Human Genome Project and the Higgs Boson, in a series of lucid short chapters on telescopes, gases, engines, planetary orbits, cells, magnetism, pneumatic chemistry, continental drift and so forth. The author is particularly interesting on the history of medicine (his own field)… and he shows a gentle tolerant humour throughout." Steven Poole, The Guardian
"This is a thoughtful, elegantly presented volume with the younger reader in mind, although its an inspiring reminder to anyone of our extraordinary journey from ignorance to knowledge….Each chapter is headed with a beautifully simple, monochrome block-print style illustration that encapsulates its themes." Dallas Campbell, BBC Focus
A spirited volume on the great adventures of science throughout history, for curious readers of all ages.
About the Author
William Bynum is professor emeritus, history of medicine, University College London. He is author or editor of numerous publications, including most recently Great Discoveries in Medicine. He lives in Suffolk, UK.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Featured Titles » Science