Homage to Gaia: The Life of an Independent Scientist

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Overview


With over fifty patents to his name and a stream of awards--including one from the Queen of England--James Lovelock is a distinguished scientist who has been widely recognized by the international scientific community.

In this inspiring autobiography, Lovelock tells the story of his life as an independent scientist--from his first job as a lab assistant to his energetic crusade to save the ozone layer. We see how Lovelock came to develop his inventions and theories--he recounts the history behind his famous Gaia theory and talks us through his many inventions. We learn about the electron capture detector, which was extremely important in the development of environmental awareness, revealing for the first time the ubiquitous distribution of pesticide residues in the environment and the global distribution of CFCs. He talks about his work with NASA, where his ideas were adopted in the program for planetary exploration. And he tells about the work he has done for organizations like the Ministry of Defence, The Marine Biological Association, and companies such as Shell and Hewlett Packard.

Written in a sharp and energetic style, James Lovelock's book will entertain and inspire anyone interested in science or the creative spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"there is much more than science in this book ... This is ultimately an uplifting book about the way life ought to be, both at a personal and at a global level, and a strong contender for science book of the year."—Sunday Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198604297
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 4.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lovelock is an independent scientist, inventor, and author. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974 and in 1975 received the Tswett Medal for Chromatography. In 1988 he was a recipient of the Norbert Gerbier Prize of the World Meteorological Organization, and in 1990 was awarded the first Amsterdam Prize for the Environment by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Further awards include the Nonino Prize and the Volvo Environment Prize in 1996, and Japan's Blue planet prize in 1997. Her Majesty the Queen made him a CBE in 1990. One of his inventions is the electron capture detector, which was important in the development of environmental awareness. It revealed for the first time the ubiquitous distribution of pesticide residues. He co-operated with NASA and some of his inventions were adopted in their programme of planetary exploration.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
List of Plates and Figure
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Childhood 7
2 The Long Apprenticeship 37
3 Twenty Years of Medical Research 67
The Voyage on HMS Vengeance in 1949 87
4 The Mill Hill Institute 101
The Year in Boston 111
My Last Years at the Mill Hill Institute 120
5 The First Steps to Independence at Houston, Texas 139
6 The Independent Practice of Science 147
Shell 152
The Security Services 160
Hewlett Packard 170
Inventions 176
7 The ECD 181
8 The Ozone War 191
The Voyage of the Shackleton in 1971-2 195
The Voyage of the Meteor in 1973 216
9 The Quest for Gia 227
10 The Practical Side of Independent Science 265
Computers 274
The Royal Society 278
The Marine Biological Association 281
Living in Ireland 285
Coombe Mill 295
11 Building Your Own Bypass 309
12 The Score Years and Ten and then the Fun Begins 349
13 Epilogue 383
Index 393
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