Gribbin, John - History of Western Science - ( Item 130203 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2008. Reprint. Fine Quarter-Leather Hardback. Sealed. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Top edge gilt. 'If I have seen further', wrote Isaac Newton to Robert Hooke in 1676, 'it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants'. History of Western Science celebrates the towering geniuses whose dogged dedication and staggering leaps of the imagination have opened our eyes to the universe we live in. John Gribbin begins in 1543, the year when Copernicus announced that the sun, not the earth, was at the centre of the known universe and when Vesalius published the first accurate anatomy of the human body based on dissection and observation. Each leads on to the next great innovator: Copernicus to Galileo, Vesalius to Harvey and the circulation of the blood. As Gribbin says, 'science is made by people, not people by science'. Revelling in the colourful, the eccentric and the unsung, he tells the human stories of science: Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler boosting his income with self-confessed 'silly and empty' horoscopes; Marie Curie forced to study alone for fear she would 'excite' male students Gribbin's style is lively and clear, filled with absorbing anecdotes and flashes of humour. Yet he manages to pack the pages with almost 500 years of science, encompassing every discovery and theory from the simple, yet essential telescope, through mind-stretching theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, right up to the mapping of the human genome. History of Western Science is an extraordinary, illuminating achievement that will fascinate the general reader as much as entertain the expert. Eminent scientists have long lamented the fact that people consider it less embarrassing never to have read Shakespeare than to be ignorant of science. This is the one book to redress that balance.
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