A mysterious bequest sends Rosy and Jaz on a race against time to identify thirteen strange and wonderful objects – which turn out to tell the story of medicine, from the superstitions of ancient Egypt to the modern-day ethical dilemmas of genetic testing.
Can unicorns cure leprosy?
What secrets of the brain did Michelangelo conceal in his Sistine Chapel paintings?
Did a zombie discover the cure for scurvy?
Does homeopathy actually work?
Why did an Australian scientist decide to drink dangerous bacteria?
Is grapefruit evil?
Did the bumps on Ned Kelly’s head predict his fate?
And how exactly did parachuting cats save a village from the plague?
An exploration of the beauty and power of scientific reasoning. Creative non-fiction for thoughtful readers aged twelve years and up, from the award-winning author of 'The Montmaray Journals'.
Includes author's note and bibliography. (Print edition also includes illustrations and index.)
Shortlisted for the 2018 Young People's History Prize (NSW Premier's History Awards)
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Afterwards, Rosy always blamed the turtle …
‘I’m convinced that a controlled disrespect for authority is essential to a scientist.’
‘I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.’
‘The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions.’
‘The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.’
‘Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine …’
‘Good science and good art both require imagination.’
‘Science is nothing but trained and organised common sense.’
‘Chance favours only the prepared mind.’
‘Science moves, but slowly, slowly …’
‘Science is much more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking.’
‘… now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.’
‘Cured yesterday of my disease, I died last night of my physician.’
‘What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.’
‘In science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.’
‘It is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.’
‘Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a different reason: it gives them something to do.’
‘We’ve never had a woman in the laboratory before, and we think you’d be a distracting influence.’
‘It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast.’
‘Did science promise happiness? I don’t think so. It promised truth …’
(Print edition includes illustrations and index)