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The Birth of Modern Science (Making of Europe)
The Birth of Modern Science (Making of Europe)
by Paolo Rossi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £34.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for students of science, 16 Feb. 2011
Anyone wishing to understand the complex, heterogeneous and characteristically human confusion of the beginnings of modern science should read this book. It is the most complete, convincing and accessible synthesis available. Rossi's depth and breadth of knowledge is extremely impressive. The other syntheses on this topic (including the better known "The scientific revolution" by Steven Shapin, which is too Anglo-centric) all suffer by comparison. Rossi also demonstrates that the emphasis on "mixed" practice and primacy of experiment in early science was no accident. The book is therefore also a good starting point for anybody wishing to investigate links between science and technology.


Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps
Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps
by Peter Galison
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Longitude - what happened next, 16 Feb. 2011
If you read and enjoyed Longitude, and wanted to know what happened next, this is the book to read. The book is not perfect, but the other reviewers here are unduly negative. The book deserves to be much better known and more widely read. Chapters 2-5 are well written, accessible popular science, and tell a great story.

My advice to readers:
Skip chapter 1 - relativity is better covered elsewhere, and this chapter is hard going (as another reviewer hinted). However, you do need to know that Poincare almost managed to develop a version of relativity before Einstein.
Read chapter 2 - the story of Poincare's non-mathematical work is very relevant, is interesting in its own right, and is presented here in a very accessible form.
Read chapters 3 and 4 - a terrific presentation on the emergence of global time and an insight into the nationalist politics from the French perspective led by Poincare (less well known - since Greenwich won the argument and this is the history we remember).
Read Chapter 5 - which highlights Einstein's non-mathematical activities (not well represented in other Einstein books), and illustrates what is perhaps one of the more surprising outcomes of the events recorded in chapters 2-5.
Skip Chapter 6, unless you are interested in the author's more usual territory in science studies.
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