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A Little History of Science Hardcover – 28 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (28 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300136595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300136593
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.8 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'I wish there had been such a book when I was a child. Bill Bynum's Little History of Science may be short but it tells a grand story: all of science lightly placed in ever-changing historical and philosophical contexts, but presented in a single arc from Empedocles to Tim Berners-Lee, Galen to Thomas Hunt Morgan, alchemy to insulin, the steam engine to the particle accelerator. It is a book I will be recommending for many years to come.' --Christopher Potter

'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

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

About the Author

William F. Bynum is Emeritus, Wellcome Institute for History of Medicine, UCL, London, and specializes in the history of malaria and the impact of evolutionary ideas on medicine. Among his publications are A Dictionary of the History of Science (1981), Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century (1994), The Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005) and Dictionary of Medical Biography (5 vols., 2007). His research also closely covers Darwin.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Snape on 10 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover
The 256 pages and 40 chapters of this book are written by an expert in the history of Medicine and it shows with a decided bias and more expert opinion on the biological and chemical parts than the physics engineering and maths.
Every aspect and age of science is included from Babylon to Silicon Valley with wonderfully short concise chapters of about 6 pages each. Hows that for our modern short-attention span teens? All relevant facts are there with many more I didn't know about, including the 'forgotten scientists' and also-rans who didn't make it into mainstream history but were equally valuable as the superstars of science. Many amusing anecdotes of the scientists are included as an interest-grabber. A few mistakes in one chapter (relativity) seem to indicate that this chapter either wasn't checked by someone in the know or simply not checked at all (I think it's the latter). Although not explicitly stated it implies that the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, as predicted by Einsteins theory, was actually Mars! No photos or pictures (a kids' book without pictures!!??), but a genuine bargain for the hardcover at about £12. If it doesn't kick off a few careers in Science I'll be surprised. Geoff .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ACB(swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The intention of this book's author is to look at science as a human endeavour to understand the world by taking a time journey through it's history of great thinkers, adept experimenters and people of expansive curiosity. The author does this using scientific advances starting with the age of Babylon and Egypt through to the digital age of modern computerisation enabling scientists to tackle questions as diverse as human genetics to global warming. Within these extremes of time, Professor Bynum uses each of the 40 short chapters, (totalling 256 pages), to deal with a different topic or major figure presenting the facts along with interesting anecdotes or details about their life or work, often quirky and humorous. The impact of developments from one age onto the next is clear along with challenges to the works and beliefs accompanying them.

Most of the major figures of influence are here including the Emperor's doctor Galen, Galileo and astronomy, Harvey and the circulation of blood, the theories and works of Newton, Darwin and Einstein. Topics include engines and energy, atomic physics and the computer age. All are written in a lucid and understandable way. This is not a science textbook. It is, as the title says 'a little history of science'. This should provide a grounding in the subject aimed more for the younger reader and hopefully will stimulate further inquiry. It may also appeal to adults who may find it's content sufficiently interesting without feeling it condescending or lacking sophistication. An entertaining introductory read into the history of science and medicine.
(HARDCOVER not Kindle version).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ebook Proofreader on 31 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This review is for the Kindle edition. A most informative and interesting book, suitable for children and adults too, in that it's not at all condescending to the younger reader. It covers a wide range of topics and is a marvellous read for the inquiring child. Only one caveat though, is that it would benefit from more illustration, not to divert attention from the text but to enhance it.
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