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Bibliophile price: £9.00
One of the finest writers of popular science around, here is a compelling dual biography that argues that Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley deserve credit for the birth of modern science. Their place in history has been overshadowed by the giant figure of Isaac Newton, yet Hooke and Halley were pioneering scientists in their own right, and instrumental in establishing the Royal Society. Their scientific achievements neatly embrace the hundred years or so during which science as we know it became established in Britain. The Gribbins argue persuasively that even without Newton science in Britain would have made a great leap forward in the second half of the 17th century. Chapters include From Freshwater to Oxford, The Most Ingenious Book That Ever I Read In My Life, Monumental Achievements, From Hackney to the High Seas, A Mission of Gravity, Halley, Newton and the Comet, and To Command A King's Ship among them. Newton famously commented that if he had seen further than other people it was 'by standing on the shoulders of giants'. Hooke (1635-1703) was slightly older than Newton (1642-1727) and Edmond Halley lived 1656-1742 and outlived Newton. It was Hooke that described the idea and the rule that every object, such as a planet, moves in a straight line unless acted upon by some outside force - ironically now known as Newton's First Law. 302pp, illus. Yale University Press first edition 2017.

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