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A Brief History of Science [Paperback]

John Gribben

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emphasis on the 20th century 11 Jun 2007
By Paul L. - Published on Amazon.com
This book is made up of 6 essays and an introduction. Mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, earth science and biology are each covered in separate chapters, which are each about 30 pages long. Each essay, written by a different expert, is extensively illustrated with paintings, photographs and drawings. The illustrations are interspersed throughout the book taking up about half of each page.

It is not possible to give a detailed history of any if these subjects in only 30 pages (especially when half of each page is illustrations), so the authors had to make difficult choices about what to cover and what to leave out. I think that the physics section (written by John Gribbin) was the most complete. However, I felt that the other sections concentrated overly on the science of the 20th century. This is especially true of the biology section, which is only concerned with evolution and genetics. This chapter gives the impression that biology started in the mid 19th century, with the work of Darwin and Mendel. This book gives the authors idea of the highlights of the history of science, but unfortunately with many important omissions. I would recommend this book to those who want a general pictorial overview. Those interested in a more comprehensive treatment will be disappointed, but may still be entertained by the illustrations.
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