The History of Science from the Ancient Greeks to the Scientific Revolution

The History of Science from the Ancient Greeks to the Scientific Revolution
by Ray Spangenburg and Diane K. Moser

(Illus.; from the On the Shoulders of Giants series)
Facts on File, Inc.
Glossary; Index
YA-T, GA **


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This slim volume, intended for a young adult audience, is not so much a history of science as it is a history of the development of the scientific method. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of the design of sound, reproducible experiments, the building of verifiable hypotheses and theories (as opposed to mere speculations), and the development of the means for recording and communicating scientific discoveries. Examples are chosen from astronomy, physics, and the life sciences. The contributions of many of the giants in these fields, e.g., Aristotle, Galen, Copernicus, and Newton, are described and explained, as well as those of some of the lesser-known figures, e.g., Rheticus, Paré, Grew, and Redi. A useful feature in the text is a guide to the pronunciation of the names of well-known scientists. Supplementing the text are an 11-page chronology, a glossary, and recommendations for further reading. Very well written and thoroughly understandable, the book succeeds hugely in its objective to introduce the development of science in an interesting fashion to the intended audience without patronizing or oversimplifying.

--Reviewed by Jack H. Westbrook in Science Books and Films, 27/7 (October 1993), p. 201.