Related to: 'A Brief History of Science'

From the brilliant Libba Bray

The Diviners – amazing new acquisition for Atom

We recently acquired The Diviners, by Libba Bray, which is a wonderfully-drawn tale of Jazz-Age New York. With a heroine who is fierce yet vulnerable, a cast of intriguing characters with prophetic abilities, and a supernatural and sinister serial killer, The Diviners shows off Bray’s remarkable talents as an author and is sure to appeal to lovers of both historical and paranormal fiction.

Robinson

Ten Women Who Changed Science, and the World

Catherine Whitlock, Rhodri Evans
Authors:
Catherine Whitlock, Rhodri Evans
Fleet

The Burning Girl

Claire Messud
Authors:
Claire Messud

A bracing and hypnotic portrait of the complexities of female friendship from the New York Times bestselling author of The Woman Upstairs.Julia Robinson and Cassie Burnes have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge: while Julia comes from a stable, happy, middle-class family, Cassie never knew her father, who died when she was an infant, and has an increasingly tempestuous relationship with her single mother, Bev. When Bev becomes involved with the mysterious Anders Shute, Cassie feels cruelly abandoned. Disturbed, angry and desperate for answers, she sets out on a journey that will put her own life in danger, and shatter her oldest friendship. Compact, compelling, and ferociously sad, The Burning Girl is at once a story about childhood, friendship and community, and a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about childhood and friendship. Claire Messud brilliantly mixes folklore and Bildungsroman, exploring the ways in which our made-up stories, and their consequences, become real.

Robinson

Superstition and Science

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

'A dazzling chronicle, a bracing challenge to modernity's smug assumptions' - Bryce Christensen, Booklist'O what a world of profit and delightOf power, of honour and omnipotenceIs promised to the studious artisan.'Christopher Marlowe, Dr FaustusBetween the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Europe changed out of all recognition and particularly transformative were the ardent quest for knowledge and the astounding discoveries and inventions which resulted from it. The movement of blood round the body; the movement of the earth round the sun; the velocity of falling objects (and, indeed, why objects fall) - these and numerous other mysteries had been solved by scholars in earnest pursuit of scientia. Several keys were on offer to thinkers seeking to unlock the portal of the unknown:Folk religion had roots deep in the pagan past. Its devotees sought the aid of spirits. They had stores of ancient wisdom, particularly relating to herbal remedies. Theirs was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations.Catholicism had its own magic and its own wisdom. Dogma was enshrined in the collective wisdom of the doctors of the church and the rigid scholastic system of teaching. Magic resided in the ranks of departed saints and the priestly miracle of the mass.Alchemy was at root a desire to understand and to exploit the material world. Practitioners studied the properties of natural substances. A whole system of knowledge was built on the theory of the four humours.Astrology was based on the belief that human affairs were controlled by the movement of heavenly bodies. Belief in the casting of horoscopes was almost universal.Natural Philosophy really began with Francis Bacon and his empirical method. It was the beginning of science 'proper' because it was based on observation and not on predetermined theory.Classical Studies. University teaching was based on the quadrivium - which consisted largely of rote learning the philosophy and science current in the classical world (Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, etc.). Renaissance scholars reappraised these sources of knowledge.Islamic and Jewish Traditions. The twelfth-century polymath, Averroes, has been called 'the father of secular thought' because of his landmark treatises on astronomy, physics and medicine. Jewish scholars and mystics introduced the esoteric disciplines of the Kabbalah.New Discoveries. Exploration connected Europeans with other peoples and cultures hitherto unknown, changed concepts about the nature of the planet, and led to the development of navigational skills.These 'sciences' were not entirely self-contained. For example physicians and theologians both believed in the casting of horoscopes. Despite popular myth (which developed 200 years later), there was no perceived hostility between faith and reason. Virtually all scientists and philosophers before the Enlightenment worked, or tried to work, within the traditional religious framework. Paracelsus, Descartes, Newton, Boyle and their compeers proceeded on the a príori notion that the universe was governed by rational laws, laid down by a rational God.. This certainly did not mean that there were no conflicts between the upholders of different types of knowledge. Dr Dee's neighbours destroyed his laboratory because they believed he was in league with the devil. Galileo famously had his run-in with the Curia.By the mid-seventeenth century 'science mania' had set in; the quest for knowledge had become a pursuit of cultured gentlemen. In 1663 The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge received its charter. Three years later the French Academy of Sciences was founded. Most other European capitals were not slow to follow suit. In 1725 we encounter the first use of the word 'science' meaning 'a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified'. Yet, it was only nine years since the last witch had been executed in Britain - a reminder that, although the relationship of people to their environment was changing profoundly, deep-rooted fears and attitudes remained strong.

Constable

The Forbidden Universe

Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince
Authors:
Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince

Were the first scientists hermetic philosophers? What do these occult origins of modern science tell us about the universe today? The Forbidden Universe reveals the secret brotherhood that defined the world, and perhaps discovered the mind of God.All the pioneers of science, from Copernicus to Newton via Galileo, were inspired by Hermeticism. Men such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, Bacon, Kepler, Tycho Brahe - even Shakespeare - owed much of their achievements to basically occult beliefs - the hermetica. In this fascinating study, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince go in search of the Hermetic origins of modern science and prove that not everything is as it seems and that over the past 400 years there has been a secret agenda behind our search for truth. From the age of Leonardo da Vinci, the influence of hermetic thinking upon the greatest minds in history has been hidden, a secret held by a forbidden brotherhood in search of the mind of God. Yet this search does not end in history but can be found in the present day - in the contemporary debates of leading evolutionists and thinkers. The significance of this hidden school can hardly be over-emphasised. Not only did it provide a spiritual and philosophical background to the rise of modern science, but its worldview is also relevant to those hungry for all sorts of knowledge even in the twenty-first century. And it may even show the way to reconciling the apparently irreconcilable divide between the scientific and the spiritual. Picknett and Prince go in search of this true foundation of modern rational thought and reveal a story that overturns 400 years of received wisdom.

Robinson

Ten Physicists who Transformed our Understanding of Reality

Rhodri Evans, Brian Clegg
Authors:
Rhodri Evans, Brian Clegg

Acclaimed popular-science writer Brian Clegg and popular TV and radio astronomer Rhodri Evans give us a Top Ten list of physicists as the central theme to build an exploration of the most exciting breakthroughs in physics, looking not just at the science, but also the fascinating lives of the scientists themselves. The Top Ten are: 1.Isaac Newton (1642-1727)2.Niels Bohr (1885-1962)3.Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)4.Albert Einstein (1879-1955)5.James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)6.Michael Faraday (1791-1867)7.Marie Curie (1867-1934)8.Richard Feynman (1918-1988)9.Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)10.Paul Dirac (1902-1984)Each of these figures has made a huge contribution to physics. Some are household names, others more of a mystery, but in each case there is an opportunity to combine a better understanding of the way that each of them has advanced our knowledge of the universe with an exploration of their often unusual, always interesting lives. Whether we are with Curie, patiently sorting through tons of pitchblende to isolate radium or feeling Bohr's frustration as once again Einstein attempts to undermine quantum theory, the combination of science and biography humanizes these great figures of history and makes the Physics itself more accessible.In exploring the way the list has been built the authors also put physics in its place amongst the sciences and show how it combines an exploration of the deepest and most profound questions about life and the universe with practical applications that have transformed our lives. The book is structured chronologically, allowing readers to follow the development of scientific knowledge over more than 400 years, showing clearly how this key group of individuals has fundamentally altered our understanding of the world around us.

Abacus

The Perfect Theory

Pedro G. Ferreira
Authors:
Pedro G. Ferreira
Black Dog & Leventhal

American Museum Of Natural History Card Deck

David Sobel
Authors:
David Sobel
Black Dog & Leventhal

The Manhattan Project

Cynthia C. Kelly, Richard Rhodes
Authors:
Cynthia C. Kelly, Richard Rhodes

The first collection ever of the writings and insights of the original creators of the atomic bomb, along with pieces by the most important historians and interpreters of the subject, is now in paperback. Born out of a small research program begun in 1939, the Manhattan Project eventually employed more than 130,000 people, including our foremost scientists and thinkers, and cost nearly $2 billion?and it was operated under a shroud of absolute secrecy. This groundbreaking collection of documents, essays, articles, and excerpts from histories, biographies, plays, novels, letters, and the oral histories of key eyewitnesses is the freshest, most exhaustive exploration yet of the topic. Compiled by experts at the Atomic Heritage Foundation, the book features first-hand material by Albert Einstein, Leslie Groves, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, Henry Stimson, and many others. Dozens of photographs depict key moments and significant figures, and concise explanatory material accompanies each selection. The project's aftermath and legacy are covered as well, making this the most comprehensive account of the birth of the atomic age.

Robinson

A Brief History of How the Industrial Revolution Changed the World

Thomas Crump
Authors:
Thomas Crump

From the beginning of the eighteenth century to the high water mark of the Victorian era, the world was transformed by a technological revolution the like of which had never been seen before. Inventors, businessmen, scientists, explorers all had their part to play in the story of the Industrial Revolution and in this Brief History Thomas Crump brings their story to life, and shows why it is a chapter in English history that can not be ignored.Previous praise for Thomas Crump's A Brief History of Science:'A serious and fully furnished history of science, from which anyone interested in the development of ideas . . . will greatly profit.' A. C. Grayling, Financial Times'Provides an enduring sense of the extraordinary ingenuity that defines our relationship with nature.' Guardian'An excellent account . . Crump writes with authority.' TLS

Robinson

A Brief History of the Age of Steam

Thomas Crump
Authors:
Thomas Crump
Abacus

The Measure Of All Things

Ken Alder
Authors:
Ken Alder

Brian Clegg

BRIAN CLEGG is a prize-winning science writer with a physics degree from Cambridge and a masters in the mathematical discipline operational research. He has written over 20 science books and articles for newspapers and magazines from The Observer and Wall Street Journal to BBC Focus and Playboy. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children.

Catherine Whitlock

Catherine Whitlock's PhD in Immunology at the University of London was followed by ten years of post-doctoral research in cell biology and immunology. More recently she has taught these subjects. She has an ongoing research interest in evaluating the power of science communication initiatives, such as Café Scientifique, and having gained a Diploma in Science Communication from Birkbeck College, University of London, she now works as a freelance writer. Her most recent work, including her latest book, can be found at www.catherinewhitlock.co.uk. She is a Chartered Biologist and a member of the British Society for Immunology and the Association of British Science Writers. She lives in Kent.

Cynthia C. Kelly

Cynthia C. Kelly is the president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the author/editor of several books on the subject including Remembering the Manhattan Project.

David Sobel

David Sobel was editorial director of Times Books, where he worked closely with Arthur Schlesinger on the American Presidents series of biographies. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Derek Wilson

DEREK WILSON is a renowned Tudor historian. A graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, he has written over 50 critically acclaimed books including A Brief History of the Circumnavigators, and The Uncrowned Kings of England, as well as recent biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein.He is a writer and presenter for radio and television and is also the founder of the Cambridge History festival. He lives in North Devon. Visit his website: www.derekwilson.com

Ken Alder

Ken Alder has a PhD from Harvard in History of Science as well as a Physics degree. In 1998 he won the Dexter Prize for the best book on the history of technology.

Lynn Picknett

Lynn Picknett is author of Mary Magdalene: Christianity's Hidden Goddess and (with Clive Prince) Turin Shroud: How Leonardo da Vinci Fooled History and its sequel, The Templar Revelation.She is also a lecturer and consultant on UFOs and the paranormal (Meridien/Anglia TV, Talk Radio, LBC, the Museum of Photography and the British UFO Research Association). She lives in London.

Rhodri Evans

Dr Rhodri Evans studied Physics at Imperial College London, graduating with First Class honours, before gaining his PhD in Astrophysics from Cardiff University. He has taught at the University of Toledo in the United States, at Swarthmore College and done post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory, 'the birthplace of modern astrophysics'. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Namibia. Rhodri is the author of numerous academic papers as well as popular-science articles, he speaks regularly at conferences and is a regular contributor to the BBC on Physics and Astronomy. His popular blog can be found at thecuriousastronomer.wordpress.com.

Thomas Crump

Thomas Crump, successful author of A Brief History of Science, recently underwent a hip operation and brings to this book an understanding of the needs and concerns of the patient.His passionate interest in science and its history has given rise to a number of books, most recently Solar Eclipse and The Anthropology of Numbers. A mathematician and anthropologist, until his retirement in 1994, he taught anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.