The Oxford Illustrated History of Science

ISBN : 9780199663279

Iwan Rhys Morus
448 Pages
189 x 246 mm
Pub date
Jun 2017
Oxford Illustrated History
Send mail
  • Highlights the historical origins of the key institutions that define modern science and introduces readers to the fruits of new research and new approaches to the history of science that have transformed the way historians of science think about their subject
  • Presents a strong and coherent narrative about the place of human efforts to understand nature that will inform and entertain its readers
  • Each chapter is written by experts who are actively engaged in research whilst also being written engagingly for a broad readership. It combines authority with readability
  • Contains a large number of illustrations and are central to the book's narrative and actively underline the material and human culture of science

The Oxford Illustrated History of Science is the first ever fully illustrated global history of science, from Aristotle to the atom bomb - and beyond. 
The first part of the book tells the story of science in both East and West from antiquity to the Enlightenment: from the ancient Mediterranean world to ancient China; from the exchanges between Islamic and Christian scholars in the Middle Ages to the Chinese invention of gunpowder, paper, and the printing press; from the Scientific Revolution of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe to the intellectual ferment of the eighteenth century. 
The chapters that follow focus on the increasingly specialized story of science since end of the eighteenth century, covering experimental science in the laboratory from Michael Faraday to CERN; the exploration of nature, from intrepid Victorian explorers to twentieth century primatologists; the mapping of the universe, from the discovery of Uranus to Big Bang theory; the impact of evolutionary ideas, from Lamarck, Darwin, and Wallace to DNA; and the story of theoretical physics, from James Clark Maxwell to Quantum Theory and beyond. A concluding chapter reflects on how scientists have communicated their work to a wider public, from the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the internet in the early twenty-first century.


Introduction, Iwan Rhys Morus
1: Science in the Ancient Mediterranean World, James Evans
2: Science in Ancient China, Donald Harper
3: Medieval Science in the West and Middle East, Sonja Brentjes
4: Science in the Medieval East, Dagmar Schaefer
5: The Scientific Revolution, John Henry
6: Enlightenment Science, Jan Golinski
7: Experimental Cultures, Iwan Rhys Morus
8: Exploring Nature, Amanda Rees
9: Mapping the Universe, Robert Smith
10: The Meaning of Life, Peter Bowler
11: Theoretical Visions, Matthew Stanley
12: Communicating Nature, Charlotte Sleigh
Further Reading

About the author: 

Edited by Iwan Rhys Morus, Aberystwyth University, Professor of History
Iwan Rhys Morus first developed his interest in the history of science whilst studying natural sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He is currently Professor of History at Aberystwyth University and is the author of a number of books in the history of science, including Frankenstein's Children (1998), When Physics Became King (2005) and Shocking Bodies (2011). He is married with three children.

Peter Bowler, Queen's University Belfast 
Sonja Brentjes, Max Planck Institute
James Evans, University of Puget Sound 
Jan Golinski, University of New Hampshire 
Donald Harper, University of Chicago
John Henry, University of Edinburgh 
Steven Livesey, University of Oklahoma
Iwan Rhys Morus, University of Aberystwyth 
Amanda Rees, University of York 
Dagmar Schaefer, University of Manchester 
Charlotte Sleigh, University of Kent
Robert Smith, University of Alberta 
Matthew Stanley, New York University

"A fabulous series of essays from more than a dozen science historians that show science interacting with and being influenced by culture and society. Morus and company succeed in showing science as a product of human culture, not a phenomenon apart from it." - Publishers Weekly

"This book is both conventional and not, sweeping yet focused, and really fun to read as both a reference source and as a piece of world history." - New Books in Science podcast

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.