Tag Archives: History of Science

Books in Groups: Fit the First

So today is another #DarwinDay, an annual event commemorating the birthday of English naturalist Charles Darwin, born this day in 1809. In honour of that fact… look, I made a pretty picture on the carpet: Since I’ve been in a … Continue reading

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Fifty Minerals That Changes the Course of History, by Eric Chaline: A Review

There should be a good deal to like in a book that promises to review the minerals that have changed the course of history. Minerals, and mineralogy as a science, have led to countless developments in human history, and there … Continue reading

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Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements from Arsenic to Zinc, by Hugh Aldersey-Williams: A Review

  One of my general rules in reading is to be wary of books that call themselves “a cultural history.” These books, like those calling themselves “social histories” or, indeed, those written by sociologists, can be perfectly reasonable and servicable … Continue reading

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The Knowledge Web, by James Burke: A Review

The Knowledge Web is a dizzying tour through the history of science and technology, yet thanks to its origins in the pre-“Information Age” culture of research and presentation, it generally succeeds as well as its predecessors, Connections and Connections 2. Why is … Continue reading

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The Ascent of Man, by Jacob Bronowski: A Review

Before James Burke’s The Day the Universe Changed, before Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and before David Attenborough’s Life on Earth or any other great multi-part science and nature documentary that you care to name, there was 1973’s The Ascent of Man. Intended as a complementary … Continue reading

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The Science of Sherlock Holmes, by E.J. Wagner: A Review

Taking as its starting point the classic tales of Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective, The Science of Sherlock Holmes is an entertaining stroll through the history of criminology, illuminating many of the Holmes and Watson tales with the light of … Continue reading

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The Neptune File, by Tom Standage: A Review

For the majority of human history, astronomers and scholars and even astrologers (yes, definitely astrologers) have only been aware of what are called the “Classical planets.” These were the objects in the night sky (named from the Greek planetes, “wanderer”) … Continue reading

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