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← Sixty Years of British Science Innovation

LaurieB's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by LaurieB

I recommend the book The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes.

From the book jacket:

"A riveting history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science.

The Age of Wonder investigates the earliest ideas of deep time and space and the explorers of "dynamic science," of an infinite, mysterious Nature waiting to be discovered. Three lives dominate the book: William Herschel and his sister Caroline, whose dedication to the study of the stars forever changed the public conception of the solar system, the Milky Way, and the meaning of the universe; and Humphry Davy, who with only a grammar-school education stunned the scientific community with near-suicidal gas experiments that led to the invention of the miners' lamp and established British chemistry as the leading professional science in Europe.

Holme's extraordinary evocation of this age of wonder shows how great ideas and experiments-both successes and failures- were born of singular and often lonely dedication, and how religious faith and scientific truth collide."

I would add that the fascinating story of Joseph Banks weaves its way through the book, in and out of many curious characters. Also the spirit of competition between the French and the English was very interesting and productive. As an American, this was unknown to me before I read this book. It was a great read!

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 14:13:22 UTC | #944973