Boffinology: The Real Stories Behind Our Greatest Scientific Discoveries

Boffinology: The Real Stories Behind Our Greatest Scientific Discoveries

Paperback

By (author) Justin Pollard

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  • Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 194mm x 24mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 7 July 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848542011
  • ISBN 13: 9781848542013
  • Sales rank: 385,997

Product description

The history of science is often seen as a story of advancement but nothing could be further from the truth. Science, it is true, has progressed, but rarely in the direction intended and seldom for the reasons given. This has a lot to do with the people responsible. Meet Thales, credited as 'the father of science', whose only real claim to fame is that he often fell into ditches, discover how Archimedes never said Eureka and hated baths anyway and how the most lucrative ancient Greek invention was not democracy but the slot machine. Justin Pollard also fills us in on Issac Newton who liked to disguise himself and lurk in London's less salubrious pubs, how eleven people claimed to have invented the steam engine and why the first website was twelve foot across and made of wood.

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Author information

Justin Pollard read Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge. He is a historical writer and consultant in film and TV. His credits include Elizabeth and Atonement and the BBC TV drama The Tudors, as well as more than twenty-five documentary series such as Channel 4's Time Team. He is a writer and researcher for QI and the author of seven books including The Interesting Bits, Charge! and Secret Britain.

Review quote

'An illuminating read' Financial Times 'This approachable and often funny compendium of tales about scientists and their discoveries is also making an important argument: that science is not the stately, dispassionate progress from evidence to theory that some of its self-appointed defenders think' Guardian 'Addictive' Independent