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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.
"The history of science parallels the history of mankind, and Bynum, professor emeritus in the history of medicine at University College London, captures the high points in this engaging chronology of our search to understand ourselves and the universe in which we live. He begins in the usual place, with early humans learning to write, which aided them with a subsequent development: keeping track of the movement of stars and planets in the night sky. Contributions from China — paper, gunpowder, and the compass — combined with math and medicine from India set the stage for Greek innovation, especially that of Aristotle, whose powerful views dominated science for centuries. Bynum covers alchemists like Paracelsus, the anatomists Vesalius and Harvey, and Islamic scholars like Avicenna before moving on to the notable figures of the Western scientific revolution: experimentalists Galileo, Francis Bacon, and Copernicus with his controversial heliocentric theory. Early fossil hunters Mary Anning and Georges Cuvier receive attention, as do 'game changers' Newton, Darwin, anthropologists Mary and Louis Leaky, and Einstein. Bynum's medical background enriches his discussion of contemporary advances in medicine and genetics; additionally, with no math and minimal jargon, his entertaining history is more than suitable for curious teen and adult readers." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.
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