This is not a science encyclopedia but, as the title states, a companion guide to the history of science. The time covered is from the Renaissance (about 1550) to the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is similar to other Oxford Companions, such as The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine (2001). The editor is widely published in the history of science, and he worked with a distinguished editorial board, along with 217 international contributors. The intended audience is scientifically curious adult readers. The volume is appropriate for undergraduate science majors.
The 609 entries cover scientific disciplines, historical developments in science, people, institutions, and other topics. Examples include Astrolabe, Astrophysics, Botanical garden, Hypothesis, Nazi science, Navigation, Oxygen, and Scientific Revolution. About 100 of the entries are biographical. Entries are signed and accompanied by solid bibliographies. Most of the recommended readings are books, but Web sites and journals are also included. There are four pages of color plates, and black-and-white photos and illustrations are interspersed in the text. Cross-references, a list of entries by broad topic, and an index (not always found in Oxford Companion titles) facilitate access.
This volume makes a good supplement to an encyclopedia of scientific history, such as Scribner's History of Modern Science and Mathematics [RBB D 1 02]. For example, biology is treated in 3 pages in The Oxford Companion and 32 pages in History of Modern Science and Mathematics. The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science is recommended for science reference collections in large public and academic libraries. RBB
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"This volume is the culmination of much scholarship and enormous effort.... The result is delightful to browse..."--Nature
"The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science
has great breadth, it contains numerous entries that are a pleasure to read, and its index makes it easy to use."--Times Literary Supplement
credibly covers the history of science in one volume. Accessible as well as scholarly, the work covers "modern science" but includes events that date back to antiquity and Aristotle, though much of the material begins in the 17th or 18th century...The quality of writing is excellent and the distillation of the history of science skillful."--CHOICE, T. McKimmie
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