Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations / Edition 2

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The original words announcing great scientific discoveries, from the first 'Eureka!' to the cloning of Dolly the sheep, can all be found in this fascinating addition to the world-famous Oxford Quotations series. An essential reference tool, put together over fifteen years with the assistance of a distinguished team of specialist advisers, it includes full author descriptions, exact sources, and a word-finding index for easy reference. Scholarly but accessible, it also presents the human face of science, as scientists reflect on achievements and failures in their own lives and those of others. For example, you've probably already hear Darwin's own thoughts on natural selection, but how about his assessment of the pros and cons of marriage?
From Archimedes to Einstein and beyond, the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations charts the progress of the great ideas of science. It is an engaging and surprising read for all lovers of science, history, or wit.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Now more than a half-century old, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations... arrives in a freshly updated sixth edition. The old warhorse sources are still there -- Shakespeare, the Bible, Samuel Johnson and of course Anonymous. They are now joined by George W. Bush (three quotes dealing with terrorism and the 'axis of evil' line), Ari Fleischer and Johnny Cash, among others. A useful book for anyone who writes or has to make speeches."--Houston Chronicle

"Just as a photo may capture the essence of a person, a few words by ancient and modern scientists can capture their humor, insight, and erudition. For instance, here is a quote by Richard Feynman: "For those who want some proof that physicists are human, the proof is in the idiocy of all the different units which they use for measuring energy." ... The editors have done a fine job compiling the quotations. There is little overlap with more general compendiums, such as the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (6th ed., 2005); while that volume includes just 1 quote from nineteenth-century Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations offers more than 30. Oxford has another hit, one which will join the ranks of other successful quotation books. Recommended for public and cademic libraries."
Library Journal
Long in the making, this book is an exquisite treasury of scientific thought and sensibilities. It was conceived as a way to right the wrong done to the sciences in ordinary compilations of quotations, and it rises admirably to the occasion. By adopting the standard layout of such dictionaries, Bynum (Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century) and Porter (Madness: A Brief History), who died in 2002, have created something that is at once familiar and tantalizing. Selecting the authors (not necessarily scientists) and the specific quotations from each is a task that could only have been a labor of love-it took 15 years to gather quotes and cull through them. We readers are the beneficiaries of this dedication. The book is neatly arranged and easy to read: the main entries are arranged alphabetically by author (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and British molecular biologist James Watson), with the quotations chronologically organized therein. Cross references help direct readers to related quotes. In many cases, italicized notes elaborate on the context, and each quotation is followed by full bibliographical information. The index is quite detailed and a fascinating section of the book all on its own. Some of the quotations are quite long and detailed, which the subject matter demands. Bottom Line It is refreshing to see that in our world of instant messages and gratification substance was not sacrificed for brevity when this book was compiled. Librarians, historians, scientists, and lovers of science and history: make space on your shelf for this impressive anthology of scientific wisdom.-Manya Chylinski, Boston Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198614432
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/30/2006
  • Series: Oxford Paperback Reference Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 736
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

W. F. Bynum is Professor Emeritus of at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. He has edited many books reference books on medicine and science, and is the author of Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh.

Roy Porter was until his retirement Professor of the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Centre. His books include English Society in the Eighteenth Century and Madness: A Brief History. He died in March 2002.

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Table of Contents


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