Review Blog

Jan 30 2018

100 scientists who made history by Andrea Mills and Stella Caldwell

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DK, 2018. ISBN 9780241304327
Throughout history there have been so many perceptive pioneers, brilliant biologists, medical masterminds, clever chemists, phenomenal physicists, incredible innovators and other scientific superstars who have challenged the known to change our lives that to choose just 100 of them must have been a taxing task.
Nevertheless, in this brand new release from DK, the achievements of people as diverse as Aristotle, Alexander Fleming, Louis Pasteur, Ernest Rutherford, Alan Turing and Edwin Hubble are all described in typical DK format with it characteristic layout, top-quality photography, bite-sized information and accessible language. But there is so much (and so many more). Although not being of a scientific bent, while many of the names of those in the clear contents pages were familiar, there were as many that were not, and sadly many of those not were women.
But the authors have included many women in the lists - who knew that Hildegard of Bingen, aka the singing nun, born in 1098 could have had such an impact on medical treatments through her study of and writing about the medicinal uses of plants? Or that of five of those credited with having such an influence on the development of computing, three were women? Or that Mary Somerville correctly predicted the existence of the planet Neptune in the early 19th century and that there were many 19th century astronomers who were female?
This is a wonderful book for everyone - not only because it will introduce a new generation to those who discovered so much of what we take for granted today - they didn't make history because they became famous, they made the history we look back on so we can move forward - but also to inspire - 'If them, why not me?' Challenge your students to find another scientist who could have been included and have them develop a page for them using the DK format as a model.
I know a budding scientist who needs this book!
Barbara Braxton

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