From the early discoveries of Copernicus to the most recent work of Stephen Hawking, this book details the history and work of some of the greatest scientists who have helped us understand our world and the universe. The work of chemists Antoine Lavoisier, Dmitri Mendeleev, and Linus Pauling give the reader a perspective about the research and experiments that deepened our understanding of matter and the elements that compose our world. From basic chemistry to the understanding of molecules and their function in the human body, the reader gains background knowledge and applications that evolved from their work. Alfred Wegener's story involves the obstacles and doubt he encountered as he set out to prove the concept of continental drift. His search for knowledge ends in tragedy for him and his co-worker. The study of the earth and its place in the universe is described through the stories of Copernicus, Galileo, Hubble, and Hawking. The knowledge, gained by the preceding scientists, allows others to expand the principles and lead to further scientific discoveries. For each scientist, a list of key dates in their life, scientific and political timelines, and the inclusion of similar work by other scientists gives the reader a deeper comprehension of the impact they had on our world. Part of a four book series, "Facts At Your Fingertips: Great Scientists," which includes the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Philosophy, Invention and Engineering. The content level may be somewhat difficult for the younger reader, though illustrations and diagrams help guide the reader through the explanations of the scientific principles involved. Reviewer: James Rutkowski
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10–These science-driven collections contain quite a bit more than biographical data. They provide explanations about important discoveries, related work, and social and political influences that impacted the subjects' work. Each book is a compendium of some of the most significant contributors to a particular sphere of science. The approximately six-to-eight page entries include important dates, photographs, diagrams, and sidebars on relevant scientists. The writing is often highly technical and some knowledge of the basics is assumed. Of particular interest are the time lines of both scientific focus and social/political background. The glossaries and resources for further information are exceptional.