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Description - The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science by John L. Heilbron

From the biographies on Galileo and Dorothy Hodgkin to the discussions chronicling the change of science from simply a tool of learning to a major force in society, The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science is the most comprehensive one-volume resource on science from 1550 to the present. Along with chemistry, physics, and biology, the major scientific disciplines are represented in this alphabetically arranged work including astrology, ethnology, and zoology, among many others. General concepts such as gender and science and scientific development are explored along with major time periods that had a tremendous impact on the field including the Enlightenment and Globalization (post-World War II). The coverage is not limited to just one geographical area but is worldwide, tracing science from its traditional centres and explaining how non-western societies have modified and contributed to its global arena. Major divisions of thought including Aristotelianism and mechanical philosophy are also covered as well as an examination of science and its relationship to professional practice and the changing face of disciplines and sub-disciplines. Individual institutions such as CERN and the Third World Academy of Science are explored as well as the epistemology and methodology of scientific knowledge, theoretical constructs, information on apparatus and instruments, the social aspects and responsibilities of science, and the innumerable uses of the applied sciences. Over 90 biographies bring these fields to life with the stories behind the great achievements. Among the notable scientists are Linus Pauling, Margaret Mead, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and Edwin Hubble. An excellent overview of the field of science and its development over the past few generations, The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science is an essential resource for students, historians, teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers, and anyone with an interest in the many and varied aspects of science.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195112290
ISBN-10: 0195112296
Format: Hardback
(259mm x 188mm x 60mm)
Pages: 994
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Feb-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science by John L. Heilbron

UK Kirkus Review » The story of the history of science has many beginnings. Geometry was founded by the ancient Greeks and astronomy has its roots in ancient China, while quantum mechanics and genetics are disciplines that started only in the 20th century. The word 'scientist' has only been in use since the mid-19th century; Isaac Newton referred to himself as a 'natural philosopher' although his work became one of the cornerstones of science. Taking the mid-16th century as its starting point, the Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science focuses on the era when science began its rise to the powerful position it occupies today. Biographies of scientists, explanations of scientific subjects and concepts and descriptions of scientific instruments, all clearly written, form the majority of the entries, but there are also broader and very readable essays exploring the wider context of science in society, including 'Science Fiction', 'Gender and Science', 'Slogans from Science'. The degree of expertise required to appreciate the entries varies widely, from the easily understandable 'Age of the Earth' to the impenetrable 'Quark', which condenses an explanation of subatomic particles into a column and a half. This is a book which it is a pleasure to dip into at random. Accessible and useful to both the lay and scientific reader, it includes some refreshing humour and many personal stories of science and scientists. Entries are cross-referenced to other entries but if you are searching for a particular topic the generous index at the back offers the best way of tracking down information. There is a sprinkling of black-and-white illustrations among the text and a few pages of captioned colour pictures. (Kirkus UK)

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