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Baxter introduces a significant scientist about whom surprisingly little has been published. Boyle set standards for the scientific method that remain influential today, and he challenged accepting the authority of the ancients, such as Aristotle. Some of his findings seem obvious to us today, but his biggest contribution to science was the practice of conducting repeatable experiments. A comical poem about the chemist's methods, written by a contemporary, enriches the account. Each chapter opens with a garish mixture of a gothic typeface in purple on lime-green pages. This unusual design, along with color reproductions of period paintings and engravings, serves to break up the text. A chapter on Boyle's legacy, a time line, and source notes enhance this volume as does a list of authoritative Web sites.
—Janet S. ThompsonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.