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Oxford Dictionary Of Scientific Quotations (Oxford Paperback Reference) (Oxford Quick Reference) Paperback – 8 Jul 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; New Ed edition (8 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198614438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198614432
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.3 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,229,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Impressive tome...An excellent reference work but also perfect for browsing

About the Author

W. F. Bynum is Professor Emeritus of the history of medicine at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. His research has been directed at a number of topics, including the history of psychiatry, the relationship between basic science and medical practice, the history of disease, especially malaria in British India, and the impact of evolutionary biology on medicine. He has edited many books, including (with Janet Browne and Roy Porter) The Macmillan Dictionary of the History of Science (1981), and (with Roy Porter) Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine, 2 vols. (1993). He is the author of Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century (1994). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh. Roy Porter was until his retirement Professor of the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. His books include English Society in the Eighteenth Century (1982), Mind Forg'd Manacles (1987), A Social History of Madness (1987), London: A Social History (1994), The Greatest Benefit to Mankind (1997), Enlightenment (2000), Madness: a brief history (2002), and Flesh and the Age of Reason (2003). He died in March 2002.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent way to understand and know the scientific thoughts. I find it better to read a short quote describing the opinion of a person's lifetime experience. These are pearls of wisdom and I find it great use to learn the views of some scientists on Religion as well, it shows why and what is and how they believe in it and then brainstrom your own thoughts on that particular idea or thought. Excellent product, loved it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful buy and the description is accurate. 19 Aug. 2009
By D Adkins - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If read and understood, the description is totally accurate.

True, if you want only zingers, this is not the book for you. Wit alone can give only a superficial view of science. But that is not the object of a reference book. Words can also be spellbinding.

But here, a quotation means the original words of the scientists talking of their own or other discoveries, and such quotes are fascinating. The wider your science education, you will recognize more and more names of the scientists in this compilation. By reading it, you will learn more about the history of science, and find more people that you are glad to hear of, and will care to know their contributions.

For example, in one lengthy quote you can read a description by Humphry Davy of his thrill upon breathing nitrous oxide, early after its discovery. Humphry Davy's name may be unfamiliar, but he was a leading experimental scientist at the Royal Institution and isolated several new elements. Davy nominated the brilliant Michael Faraday as his successor. These are both giants in the progress of chemistry and physics, yet how many high school graduates know their names? (Sad, that.)

On the other hand, there is Francis Arthur Freeth, who is quoted as saying, "I am Freeth, and I have come to apply the phase-rule to the ammonia-soda process." I didn't know who Freeth was. But these were his first words on joining the Brunner-Mond Company in 1907, where he diligently researched the large-scale processes for making ammonium nitrate in the industrial quantities need for explosives. Without his key contribution, Britain would have had a dire shortage of munitions for World War I. He literally helped win the war. Once you realise Freeth was such a hugely important scientist, though in one narrow field, the quote is precient. And I am glad to now know who Freeth was.

Francis and Crick are the household names in the discovery of the structure of DNA, but in this book you can read what Rosalind Franklin, their contemporary, had written as early as 1952 about her work - in her own words - also hinting at the helical structure of DNA.

Thus, if you have a life-long interest in science, this book should be on your shelf. It is unique. You can come back to it many times, and find new gems of insight each time. All of the 8000 quotes in the book are good quotes for this purpose. The book is a gold mine - you discover gold nuggets everywhere, if you have the eyes to see. It complements your knowledge of scientist biographies.

Buy this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars I Beg to Differ 20 Oct. 2012
By Garden Variety Teacher - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an astonishing book, jam-packed with the accumulated rational wisdom of humanity. It is also obviously a labor of love by the compilers. My hat is off to them. I am sure the reviewer who gave the book 1 star is an intelligent person, but his thinking is alien to me, and more than a bit worrisome. Why do we need "zingers" in a work that showcases the very best of what the human intellect has to offer? And the profundity is in the nature of the knowledge that has been laboriously hacked out of the mysterious sediments of nature.

Definitely buy this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations 18 Feb. 2013
By Jinna Anderson, Applied Artist Working in Text - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This title delivers scientists' quotations that not only sum up the writer's life work but also epitomize their belief systems and rationale for doing their work, even on a higher level. Masterful selection of writers and their quotations. Open anywhere, and read! Makes an inspiring gift.--Jinna
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for science teachers. 9 Aug. 2013
By KJ - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a subject index that allows you to find quotes related to whatever you are trying to teach your students.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a horrible buy, the description is misleading. 13 Dec. 2007
By Aditya Savara - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There is only one line from the description which is not too misleading:
"Recommended for public and academic libraries."

It should be added: "Not recommended for individuals."

While there are a handful of great quotes in this book (perhaps 1 in a thousand), most of the quotes are very specific, are not "funny" not "zingers" not witty, not profound, and are just plain dry. There are about 20 good quotes and out of what must be about 8000 quotes in the book. I bought it based on seeing several good quotes given where the book is advertised. Well guess what! Those were half of the good quotes in the book!

Most quotes are from people you haven't heard of and don't care to hear of. Which would be fine, if the quotes were any good - but they are not. Do not buy this book.
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