A SCIENCE ODYSSSEY by Charles Flowers


100 Years of Discovery
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 This companion volume to an upcoming PBS series (to begin airing in January) offers a swiftly paced survey of many of the major scientific discoveries made over the past hundred years, including the evolution of modern physics and cosmology, the emergence of the revolutionary theory of plate tectonics, the development of airplanes, the exploration of space, and the long medical struggle to understand and control such ravaging diseases as polio, diabetes, and pellagra. This is certainly not fresh terrain, but Flowers (editor of Out, Loud, and Laughing, 1995) offers particularly lucid and enthusiastic descriptions of the trial-and-error scientific process, and he sets his narrative of repeated failures leading up to extraordinary breakthroughs firmly within the larger frame of society and technological change, reminding the reader that science has always emerged out of a society and been shaped by that society's needs and expectations. A lively collection of vignettes. Those needing a detailed history, however, should certainly look elsewhere. (60 color, 90 b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-15196-5
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997