The History of Science and Technology: A Browser's Guide to the Great Discoveries, Inventions, and the People Who MadeThem from the Dawn of Time to Today

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In this age of genetic engineering and global warming, it is more important than ever to understand the history and current trends of science and technology. With so much information out there, though, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s where The History of Science and Technology—the most comprehensive and up-to-date chronology of its kind—comes in. From the first stone tools to the first robot surgery, this easy-to-read, handy reference book offers more than seven thousand concise entries organized within ten major historical periods and categorized by subject, such as archaeology, biology, computers, food and agriculture, medicine and health, materials, and transportation. You can follow the world’s scientific and technological feats forward or backward, year by year, and subject by subject. Under 8400 BCE Construction, you will discover that the oldest known wall was built in Jericho. Jump to 1454 Communication and you will learn about Johann Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. Take an even larger leap to 2002 Computers and find out about the invention of the Earth Simulator, a Japanese supercomputer.

The History of Science and Technology answers all the what, when, why, and how questions about our world’s greatest discoveries and inventions: How are bridges built? When were bifocal eyeglasses invented and by whom? What medical discovery led to the introduction of sterilization, vaccines, and antibiotics? What is the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) process, and why is it one of the pillars of the biotechnology revolution? Not only can you discover how our world came to be and how it works, but with cross-referenced entries you can also trace many intricate and exciting connections across time.

Highly browsable yet richly detailed, expertly researched and indexed, The History of Science and Technology is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the technologically advanced reader alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Updating and integrating the authors' The Timetables of Science (1991. rev. ed.) and The Timetables of Technology (1994), this volume highlights science and technology achievements in a wide variety of fields from prehistoric times through 2003. The chapters are organized chronologically and include overview articles, short essays, biographical notes, and brief descriptions of notable events. The extensive cross references are especially valuable, allowing readers to follow the development of a particular topic through time. Readers can also quickly follow topics by moving among appropriate headings throughout the volume: subject divisions, which are highlighted with icons, include anthropology, chemistry, communication, mathematics, materials, transportation, and more. Where text taken from the earlier volumes has been edited, it has improved on the already very accessible content. The graphics are sparse, but the 300 high-quality drawings and photographs are well chosen. Bottom Line Highly readable and well worth its reasonable price, this extensive and detail-packed book is suitable as a reference or as a source of trivia topics. Highly recommended for all libraries, even those that may already have similar titles, such as the two volumes mentioned above or Isaac Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery.-Barbarly Korper McConnell, California State Univ. Lib., Fullerton Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Based on the authors' The Timetables of Science (1988; o.p.) and The Timetables of Technology (1993, both S & S), this hefty volume is divided into 10 periods, each beginning with an overview of major advances, many of which caused controversy in political, social, and religious arenas. The introductions are followed by yearly chronicles of specific accomplishments ranging from the time when hominoids used pebble tools through 2003. In all there are more than 7000 brief entries under such broad headings as "Tools," "Construction," "Astronomy," "Food & Agriculture," "Physics," and "Mathematics." Nearly 200 feature essays are interspersed, including "The Manhattan Project," "How did the Egyptians build the pyramids?," "Early surgery," "Time shifting," "The canal age," and "The size of the universe." These are best accessed from the table of contents, as the index doesn't differentiate essays from text references. Biographies appear as boxed insets with information on career highlights and a small portrait. While informative, the black-and-white photographs and illustrations found throughout are of mediocre quality. An affordable one-volume reference.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618221233
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/16/2004
  • Pages: 784
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

BRYAN BUNCH has written a number of books about the history of science, mathematics, and related fields. He is the editor of the eight-volume reference work Diseases and coauthor of The Penguin Desk Encyclopedia of Science and Mathematics.
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Table of Contents

Science and Technology before Scientists: through 599 BCE
Science and Technology in Antiquity: 600 BCE through 529 CE 50
Medieval Science and Technology: 530 through 1452 92
The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution: 1453 through 1659 140
Scientific Method: Measurement and Communication: 1660 through 1734 194
The Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution: 1735 through 1819 230
Science and Technology in the 19th Century: 1820 through 1894 308
Rise of Modern Science and Technology: 1895 through 1945 438
Big Science and the Post-Industrial Society: 1946 through 1972 540
The Information Age: 1973 through 2003 624
Further reading 720
Index 722
Illustration credits 776
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