The Scientists

Make no mistake. The Scientists, A History Of Science Told Through The Lives Of Its Greatest Inventors is an absolute beast of a book. It would be even more of a beast if the subtitle was kept up throughout the book, but once we reach the end of the 19th Century, there are far too many scientists, says the author, and so we do not go into as much detail. Plus by then people were more boring anyway - the best parts of the book for me was reading about some of the more 'interesting' characters from the 16th-18th Centuries.

That's not to say that this is a boring book. It won't be too everyone's tastes - I personally struggled through a lot of the physics, chemistry and modern day astronomy sections as being far too dry for me personally and eventually started skipping sections as I wasn't really reading it anyway. It's obvious that the author took a lot of time and care in putting this book together, and really, no-one without an interest in the subject is going to pick up this book (unless they were given it as a random Christmas present like me). I really did enjoy the sections on classical science - astronomy, geology and biology are the ones that stand out. I find it hard to believe that things like Ice Ages were only agreed upon 40 years ago! What also struck me was how often two or more scientists have independently been working upon the same theory, with the same conclusions, only for one to strike first and publish, thus seizing the glory.

Overall, this is an interesting read, but I don't feel guilty for eventually giving in and glossing over some of the sections that didn't interest me. Reading should be fun, after all!


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