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Makers of Science: 5-Volume Set Hardcover – February 7, 2002

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A slightly different approach to ordinary biographical information on scientists, this set incorporates the political and social setting as well as the scientific achievements of each scientist. Volumes are arranged chronologically, beginning with Aristotle and ending with Stephen Hawking. In between are biographies of more than 40 European and U.S. scientists "whose discoveries were crucial to the development of science," ranging in length from 8 to 16 pages. The authors, who have written several popular works on science for Oxford and other publishers, know how to keep readers interested. Included in each chapter are sidebars about practical applications of a discovery or other individuals who developed related theories or built on earlier work. For example, the chapter on Fritz Haber includes features on chemical warfare and the history of explosives; the chapter on J. Robert Oppenheimer includes a section on Communism and a short piece on Edward Teller; and the chapter on Edwin Hubble has sidebars on Henrietta Leavitt, George Ellery Hale, and Fred Hoyle as well as on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Scientific principles are clearly explained, often with diagrams. Intriguing personal stories are also woven in--Michael Faraday turned down a knighthood, Richard Leakey left high school at age 17, Alan Turing was questioned by police for homosexuality, Marie Curie became a governess to help support her older sister's medical studies. Photos, quotations, and see references provide many appealing hooks and links. Two parallel time lines at the end of each chapter offer scientific and political and cultural context. At the end of the set are an extensive index, a glossary, brief biographies of many other scientists, and suggestions for further reading.

Middle- and high-school students will enjoy using this for reports (and may willingly page through other articles). Science teachers will love the connections made between different inventors' works and how science is relevant to our life today. Recommended as an attractive supplement to other, more comprehensive science biography resources. RBB
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"Belongs in all but the most gnomic of reference collections....For scope, ease of use, and clarity of presentation, this likely to become the first choice of middle graders on research missions."--School Library Journal (starred review)

"Biographical details and clear scientific discussions are offered along with sidebars on related topics, time lines, and thumbnail sketches of contemporaries. An excellent choice for report writers." -- Curriculum Connections


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1St Edition edition (February 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195216806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195216806
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 3.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.9 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,742,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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