Catalogue


Science firsts : from the creation of science to the science of creation /
Robert Adler.
imprint
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, c2002.
description
vii, 232 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0471401749
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
imprint
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, c2002.
isbn
0471401749
abstract
"Tells the engaging and inspiring stories of thirty-five landmark scientific discoveries. From the first accurate prediction of an eclipse in 585 B.C. to the cloning of Dolly the sheep...Adler clearly explains the context and importance of these discoveries."
catalogue key
4838234
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 207-219) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robert E. Adler, Ph.D., is a freelance science writer who contributes frequently to Nature and other leading scientific publications. He lives in northern California.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Throughout the history of science, there have always been men and women whose curiosity and intellect led them to explore uncharted territories and seek new explanations for the way the universe works. Among those are the privileged few who were the first to glimpse new ideas, break new ground, and make unprecedented discoveries'many of which changed the course of history.Science Firsts tells the engaging and inspiring stories of thirty-five landmark scientific discoveries. From the first accurate prediction of an eclipse in 585 b.c. to the cloning of Dolly the sheep, science writer Robert Adler clearly explains the context and importance of these discoveries, allowing the reader to peer over the shoulders of the great scientists as they first set eyes on new worlds.The journey begins in ancient Greece, where philosophers such as Thales and Leucippus became the first to demand explanations about nature that did not depend on the whims of gods. Focusing on key scientists'many well-known, others often overlooked'in a wide range of disciplines, Adler profiles such pathfinders as: Anaximander of Miletus'showman, politician, and philosopher, the first to map the world Johannes Kepler'a brilliant mystic, the first to place the planets into their true orbits Sir Isaac Newton'whose luminous mind made him the first to grasp the basic laws of the universe Humphry Davy'a poet and self-made scientist, the first to precisely define chemical elements Alfred Wegener'an Arctic explorer, the first to understand the origin of continents and oceans Raymond Dart'a maverick anatomist, the first to discover our ancient African roots Barbara McClintock'a true visionary, the first to see the inner dynamics of the genetic system Claude Shannon'the unicycle-riding mathematician who brought us the Information Age Science Firsts captures the essence of these gifted explorers and their hard-won discoveries. Without their sense of mystery, diverse talent, and stubborn dedication, the world as we know it would not exist.
Flap Copy
Throughout the history of science, there have always been men and women whose curiosity and intellect led them to explore uncharted territories and seek new explanations for the way the universe works. Among those are the privileged few who were the first to glimpse new ideas, break new ground, and make unprecedented discoveries-many of which changed the course of history. Science Firsts tells the engaging and inspiring stories of thirty-five landmark scientific discoveries. From the first accurate prediction of an eclipse in 585 b.c. to the cloning of Dolly the sheep, science writer Robert Adler clearly explains the context and importance of these discoveries, allowing the reader to peer over the shoulders of the great scientists as they first set eyes on new worlds. The journey begins in ancient Greece, where philosophers such as Thales and Leucippus became the first to demand explanations about nature that did not depend on the whims of gods. Focusing on key scientists-many well-known, others often overlooked-in a wide range of disciplines, Adler profiles such pathfinders as: * Anaximander of Miletus-showman, politician, and philosopher, the first to map the world * Johannes Kepler-a brilliant mystic, the first to place the planets into their true orbits * Sir Isaac Newton-whose luminous mind made him the first to grasp the basic laws of the universe * Humphry Davy-a poet and self-made scientist, the first to precisely define chemical elements * Alfred Wegener-an Arctic explorer, the first to understand the origin of continents and oceans * Raymond Dart-a maverick anatomist, the first to discover our ancient African roots * Barbara McClintock-a true visionary, the first to see the inner dynamics of the genetic system * Claude Shannon-the unicycle-riding mathematician who brought us the Information Age Science Firsts captures the essence of these gifted explorers and their hard-won discoveries. Without their sense of mystery, diverse talent, and stubborn dedication, the world as we know it would not exist.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-02-01:
Adler, a science journalist who has written for Nature and the New Scientist, presents 35 milestones in the development of Western science. Although he acknowledges the contributions of China, India, Egypt, and Babylon to science, he has chosen to "follow the stream of Western science." Astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics are well represented; mathematics, computer science, and the earth sciences make brief appearances. Each milestone is described in five to six pages with a mixture of biographical information about the scientist and a popular-level description of the scientific discovery. The scientists who appear are familiar, ranging from Thales, Archimedes, and Copernicus to Mendeleev, Einstein, McClintock, and Watson and Crick. Some recent scientists include astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz and biologists Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell. The writing is clear and entertaining, providing a glimpse into the challenge, excitement, and reward of discovery within science. A bibliography organized by chapter title gives interested readers pointers to additional secondary and largely popular-press materials. Similar books are Peter Whitfield's Landmarks in Western Science (CH, Jun'00) and John Simmons's The Scientific 100 (CH, May'97); a more extensive work is Leonard Bruno's Science & Technology Firsts (CH, Jul'97). General readers. M. Mounts Dartmouth College
Reviews
Review Quotes
* "...a fascinating collection of stories about key 'firsts' in the history of science..." ( Materials World , December 2002) "...I think scientists and lay readers alike would find this book worthwhile and enjoyable, because of its historical sweep and depth. Something of a Christmas cracker this one..." ( Chemistry in Britain , December 2002) "...stylishly written...each topic is given the space to breath...an excellent reference list containing a wealth of popular science titles..." ( Physics World , February 2003) "...this fascinating book is complimented by black and white photographs..." ( The Alchemist , 19 September 2003)
"...a fascinating collection of stories about key 'firsts' in the history of science..." ( Materials World , December 2002) "...I think scientists and lay readers alike would find this book worthwhile and enjoyable, because of its historical sweep and depth. Something of a Christmas cracker this one..." ( Chemistry in Britain , December 2002) "...stylishly written...each topic is given the space to breath...an excellent reference list containing a wealth of popular science titles..." ( Physics World , February 2003) "...this fascinating book is complimented by black and white photographs..." ( The Alchemist , 19 September 2003)
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
A fascinating collection of stories about key Firsts in science Pythagoras intuited that the earth was round. Charles Darwin discovered the source of nature's intricate diversity. Marie Curie traced radioactivity to the atom. Edwin Hubble discovered the expanding universe. Albert Einstein reshaped our views of matter and energy, space and time. Lynn Margulis showed that nature is far more promiscuous and creative than Darwin dreamed. These brilliant men and women are part of a very special group-scientists who made truly original, groundbreaking discoveries. Science Firsts tells the stories of thirty-five of the most important firsts in the history of science. You'll encounter such extraordinary figures as Enrico Fermi, the first to unleash the power of the atom; Joseph Priestley, the first to produce oxygen and glimpse photosynthesis in action; and Guglielmo Marconi, the first to make wireless communication a reality. Science Firsts reveals how these incredible minds ventured into previously unseen territory to satisfy their hunger for knowledge and, in doing so, changed the course of history.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a collection of 35 stories of landmark scientific discoveries, from Thales, an ancient Greek who was perhaps the first to look at the world scientifically, to Dolly, the first cloned mammal.
Description for Library
"Tells the engaging and inspiring stories of thirty-five landmark scientific discoveries. From the first accurate prediction of an eclipse in 585 B.C. to the cloning of Dolly the sheep...Adler clearly explains the context and importance of these discoveries."
Main Description
Be on hand to witness some of the most monumental scientific discoveries of the past three millennia This engaging collection offers readers the unique experience of being on hand to witness some of the most epic breakthrough in the history of science. From ancient Greeks Thales and Pythagoras to Enrico Fermi, Francis Watson and James Crick, and even Dolly the Sheep, Science Firsts provides an unparalleled opportunity to peer over the shoulders of great scientists as they become the first to set eyes on new worlds. Over the course of thirty-five concise, superbly written accounts, science writer Robert Adler takes readers on an lively journey through nearly three millennia of epic scientific discovery, offering accessible explanations of the science involved along with vivid historical and biographical details that help place the discoveries and their discoverers in context for contemporary readers.
Main Description
This engaging collection offers readers the unique experience of being on hand to witness some of the most epic breakthroughs in the history of science. Robert Adler takes readers on an lively journey through nearly three millennia of epic scientific discovery, offering accessible explanations of the science involved.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Thales and Natural Causationp. 3
Anaximander Orders the Cosmosp. 7
Pythagoras Numbers the Cosmosp. 11
Atoms and the Voidp. 16
Aristotle and the Birth of Biologyp. 21
Aristarchus, the Forgotten Copernicusp. 25
Archimedes's Physicsp. 30
Ibn al-Haitham Illuminates Visionp. 34
Copernicus Moves the Earthp. 38
Galileo Discovers the Skiesp. 44
Kepler Solves the Planetary Puzzlep. 50
Van Leeuwenhoek Explores the Microcosmp. 56
Newton: Gravity and Lightp. 61
A Breath of Fresh Airp. 67
Humphry Davy, Intoxicated with Discoveryp. 73
Visionaries of the Computerp. 80
Darwin's Great Truthp. 86
A Genius in the Gardenp. 94
Mendeleev Charts the Elementsp. 100
In the Realm of Radioactivityp. 107
Planck's Quantum Leapp. 114
Wired on Wirelessp. 120
Rutherford Dissects the Atomp. 126
Einstein: Matter, Energy, Space, and Timep. 132
Wegener Sets the Continents Adriftp. 140
Hubble's Expanding Universep. 145
Out of Africap. 149
Fermi and the Fire of the Godsp. 155
McClintock's Chromosomesp. 162
A Bit of Geniusp. 168
The Dynamic Duo of DNAp. 173
Echoes of Creationp. 180
We Are Not What We Seemp. 186
Planetary Pioneersp. 193
After Dolly, Life Will Never Be the Samep. 200
References and Further Readingp. 207
Indexp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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