The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the

A wonderfully readable account of scienti c development over the past ve hundred years, focusing on the lives and achievements of individual scientists, by the bestselling author of In Search of Schr dinger s CatIn this ambitious new book, John Gribbin tells the stories of the people who have made science, and of the times in which they lived and worked He begins with Copernicus, during the Renaissance, when science replaced mysticism as a means of explaining the workings of the world, and he continues through the centuries, creating an unbroken genealogy of not only the greatest but also the obscure names of Western science, a dot to dot line linking amateur to genius, and accidental discovery to brilliant deductionBy focusing on the scientists themselves, Gribbin has written an anecdotal narrative enlivened with stories of personal drama, success and failure A bestselling science writer with an international reputation, Gribbin is among the few authors who could even attempt a work of this magnitude Praised as a sequence of witty, information packed tales and a terri c read by The Times upon its recent British publication, The Scientists breathes new life into such venerable icons as Galileo, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling, as well as lesser lights whose stories have been undeservedly neglected Filled with pioneers, visionaries, eccentrics and madmen, this is the history of science as it has never been told before From the Hardcover edition The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors


About the Author: John Gribbin

John R Gribbin is a British science writer, an astrophysicist, and a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex The topical range of his prolific writings includes quantum physics, biographies of famous scientists, human evolution, the origins of the universe, climate change and global warming His also writes science fiction.John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor s degree in physics from the University of Sussex in 1966 Gribbin then earned his master of science M.Sc degree in astronomy in 1967, also from the Univ of Sussex, and he earned his Ph.D in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge 1971.In 1968, Gribbin worked as one of Fred Hoyle s research students at the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, and wrote a number of stories for New Scientist about the Institute s research and what were eventually discovered to be pulsars.In 1974, Gribbin published, along with Stephen Plagemann, a book titled The Jupiter Effect, that predicted that the alignment of the planets in quadrant on one side of the Sun on March 10, 1982 would cause gravitational effects that would trigger earthquakes in the San Andreas fault, possibly wiping out Los Angeles and its suburbs Gribbin repudiated The Jupiter Effect in the July 17, 1980, issue of New Scientist magazine in which he stated that he had been too clever by half.In 1984, Gribbin published In Search of Schrodinger s Cat Quantum Physics and Reality, the book that he is best known for, which continues to sell well 28 years after publication It has been described as among the best of the first wave of physics popularisations preceding Stephen Hawking s multi million selling A Brief History of Time Gribbin s book has been cited as an example of how to revive an interest in the study of mathematics.In 2006, Gribbin took part in a BBC radio 4 broadcast as an expert witness Presenter Matthew Parris discussed with Professor Kathy Sykes and Gribbin whether Einstein really was a crazy genius.At the 2009 World Conference of Science Journalists, the Association of British Science Writers presented Gribbin with their Lifetime Achievement award.



10 thoughts on “The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors

  1. says:

    I should preface this by saying that I love learning about science, especially chemistry.I wondered at the outset if I would ever finish this book because it contained over 600 pages about the history of science, but I found myself turning pages much faster than expected Gribbin does a fantastic job of keeping science history interesting by intermingling fascinating tales about the lives of several prominent scientists and squabbles had am


  2. says:

    Phew A really great history of science starting with the 15th century and working right up to the present day Focusing on not just the scientific discoveries but the scientists themselves, this gives a really human feel to the story of science We get to know a little about everyone s life, from Copernicus to Einstein Also touching on a bit of the classical Greek period, where philosophy overlapped with science Gribbin s style of writing is co


  3. says:

    I started out loving this book, it gave glimpses into the men who helped form science When we approached the modern era, a time when some of the scientists discussed are still alive possibly, the tone changed the book stopped being about the people andonly about the science It was this change that threw me off I suppose there is a valid reason to not continue the quirks to include something like Richard Dawkins has had a propensity to wear short


  4. says:

    Magnificent tour de force on the development of science as we know it.With one big limitation, which the author duly acknowledges it doesn t cover advances and breakthroughs in medical science, no matter how stupendous they were If you want to see how discoveries of vaccination, microbes and viruses, anaesthesia etc fit into a larger context of science development, you better look elsewhere Names of Jenner, Pasteur, Koch, Flemming and multiple othe


  5. says:

    This book manages to accomplish the not insignificant feat of taking material which is intrinsically fascinating, feeding it into a kind of death prose generating machine, and regurgitating it as what feels like a single 600 page long indigestible eructation to mix my digestive metaphors.Shame on you, John Gribbin In producing this ill gotten lumpen tour, which manages to leach all the interest out of what should be a fascinating magical mystery tour,


  6. says:

    I feel a little silly to be disappointed that a book about scientists had too much science for my enjoyment The history of science is fascinating To think of how much our knowledge has grown in just 500 years and exponentially over the past 200 It really wasn t so long ago that most educated people believed the stars controlled our destiny and to protect ourselves from magic we needed to burn fellow humans to death.The early scientists were heroic as the


  7. says:

    A history of science told in many lives each chapter focusing on one aspect of the history of science, with the chapter itself being a chronologically ordered story of scientific lives In that aspect, it s very much like Bell s Men Of Mathematics GR link, my review , not only is The Scientists structured similarly, the humorous tone and fun anecdotes are similar too Henry was painfully shy and hardly ever went out except to scientific gatherings even at the


  8. says:

    You d want to get this book for your kid Along with Carl Sagan s Cosmos and both TV adaptations Because science, properly taught or written about, can be very exciting for a kid to learn This is the story of all its wonders told by bios of the people who invented and discovered them 400 years of science are elegantly compacted into this synthesis, but Gribbin writes with such ease and clarity, with all the pleasures of narrative history, that you don t notice


  9. says:

    Overview books are tricky, and most fail Many things have happened, y know And a book that includes a great deal of them often turns intowell, into a list of things that have happened This is why all textbooks suck.So one has to pick and choose, and the choice necessarily creates a perspective You ve picked up these select threads, which leaves you inevitably with that picture And the trick in writing a good overview book is to end up with a picture that s intere


  10. says:

    Phew I was suffering from some serious scientific history fatigue towards the end of this book.Gribbin has produced a very interesting book here The absence of theobscure characters in the history of science or the lack of detail about them was disappointing as was the strong focus on physics but even so this book was enjoyable Gribbin sums up scientific discoveries and theories well and provides the reader with interesting details about well known scientific figure


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