In this powerhouse of a biography-cum-science-history, historian Dan Charly Christensen reveals Ørsted as a brilliant, multifaceted figure - scientist, post-Kantian philosopher, educator and physical aesthetician. (Nature
Best known for his epoch-making discovery of electromagnetism in 1820, the versatile Danish physicist H. C. Ørsted was also a cultural icon and an eminent representative of the Kantian-Romantic movement in the early nineteenth century. Only with Christensens impressively rich and detailed biography are readers presented with a full picture of Ørsted and his time, in which his scientific work is placed in its proper social and cultural context. Combining meticulous scholarship with readability, Christensens book is a magnificent contribution to the history of science and culture that for decades will remain the authoritative biography of Ørsted. (Helge Kragh, Aarhus University
)Reading Nature's Mind
is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book. It is extraordinarily detailed and leaves the reader with a through understanding not only of Ørsted, but also of his contemporaries. (Nanna Katrine Luders Kaalund, Journal of BJHS
Few people know more about Hans Christian Ørsted than his "accidental" discovery of electromagnetism in 1820. Dan Ch. Christensen's definitive biography of Ørsted, now available in English, will change this. Christensen documents the intellectual and philosophical preparations that led to Ørsted's 1820 discovery and his response to the acclaim that followed. While this book is a "must read" for historians of science, its vivid descriptions of intellectual life in the early 1800s will be equally fascinating to lay readers. Read it and enjoy it! (Andrew D. Jackson, Professor of Theoretical Physics, The Niels Bohr Institute
About the Author
Dan Charly Christensen worked as Lecturer and Reader within the Department of History at Roskilde University (1972-2010), Denmark. His two volume biography, Naturens Tankelæser. En Biografi om Hans Christian Ørsted (Museum Tusculanum, Copenhagen 2009), was nominated for Weekendavisen's annual literary prize, and awarded the H.O. Lange Literary Prize by the Royal Library and Gad's Foundation.