History of science what is the secret of life,chinese zodiac signs january 1978,zodiac signs and horoscopes zodiac,numerology number 7 horoscope 2014 - Good Point

04.12.2013
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Physically lightweight it may be, but A Little History of Science delivers a far heavier punch than its modest title would suggest. One of Britain’s most distinguished historians of medicine, Bynum has temporarily abandoned scholarly conventions to entice a younger audience by tackling those perplexing questions most adults are too embarrassed or too lazy to ask, let alone answer. Having plumped for the Babylonians, Bynum then confronted a formidable task of selection: in a survey of this type, what you choose to leave out is as important as what you leave in. Bynum is one of those marvellous guides who believes that it is more valuable to foster a spirit of enquiry than to provide definitive answers. Patricia Fara is the Senior Tutor of Clare College, Cambridge and author of Science: A Four Thousand Year History (OUP, 2009). Ranging from Babylon to bosons, from astrology to astrophysics, this chatty account for teenagers covers not only the world of science but also the scientific history of the world.


To his  credit, he covers the full spectrum of science, technology and medicine, amply featuring biological topics that are often skimmed over because wrongly assumed to be irrelevant to the rise of modern mathematical science. If you need to find a present for a child in your life, then this is the ideal solution – but be sure to read it in advance so that you can safeguard the pretence of your grown-up omniscience. The word ‘scientist’ was coined only in 1833, in response to some friendly goading by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but that seems unhelpfully late for the origins of science. Cleverly, Bynum has concealed some inevitable gaps by telling stories about the past from the perspective of modern scientific disciplines. Directly addressing his readers as ‘you’, William Bynum encourages us to contemplate the wonders of nature with the same questioning gaze as did our ancestors several millennia ago. What would have happened if alchemists really could change lead into gold (he explains how King Midas found out the hard way)?
Bynum might have followed the lead of many other historians by opting for 1543, when Nicolas Copernicus placed the Sun at the centre of the universe.


The chapter on electromagnetism, for instance, zaps through the 19th century so convincingly that you fail to notice the absence of Heinrich Hertz (radio waves) or Alexander Bell (telephones) – but could this be because neither of them was British? Why should you bother with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (you might like to think about that one the next time you are relying on Satnav to get home safely)? But that would have meant leaving out the Islamic sages – and yes, Copernicus did acknowledge some of them – to say nothing of the Greeks who came still earlier and who in their turn inherited the ideas and observations of their own predecessors.
Others consigned to brief mentions include women and Muslims, though he might argue that these have recently both been over represented.



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