Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely in his own study at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. This book is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us.
Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science.
It's not so much about what we know, as how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?
On his travels through time and space he encounters a splendid collection of astonishingly eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists, such as the painfully shy Henry Cavendish, who worked out important conundrums including how much the earth weighed, but failed to report many of his findings.
In the company of such extraordinary people, Bill Bryson takes us with him on the ultimate eye-opening journey, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 06 / 2004
- 128 x 199mm
Tash - 13nv
Bill Bryson is back with his most informative book yet A Short History of Nearly Everything, which seeks to provide a brief overview of the history of scientific discovery. Ranging across a variety of scientific topics including physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology and biology, Bryson describes in simple terms some of the most important scientific discoveries in our history. Told in chronological order, the books alternates between serious accounts and explanations of scientific phenomena to humorous stories about the people who discovered them, making it an entertaining read for both avid science fans, and people with a passing curiosity. The only flaw is the now somewhat dated information in the book, meaning that some of the facts have since been revised as is the nature of books relating to scientific discovery. Regardless, A Short History of Nearly Everything is a great starting point if you're looking to learn more about the universe around you.