Chain Reactions

Pioneers of British Science and Technology and the stories that link them

Cover of Chain Reactions

210 x 148mm, 192 pages, 100 illustrations, 50 in colour, Chronological Chain Reactions chart Houses, landmarks, and list of houses to visit, £9.50 (paperback), ISBN 1 85514 291 0

Out of print

Chain Reactions
Pioneers of British Science and Technology and the stories that link them
Adam Hart-Davis

What connects the inventor of the best lock in the world with the first tunnel built under the Thames? Wedgwood china with a famous American president? A comet with a philosopher? The 'Lady of the Lamp' with the discovery of penicillin? A cannon with a steam engine?

The answer lies in some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last 500 years. In Chain Reactions, Adam Hart-Davis explores the links between different scientific pioneers and their discoveries, often across extraordinarily varied fields of human endeavour, and sometimes across centuries. Relationships intellectual, amicable and implacable are brought to light, as are the surprising roles played by happenstance, coincidence and sometimes downright error in many of the most fundamental scientific breakthroughs of our time.

Packed with anecdote and detail, this entertaining yet informative book is illustrated throughout with portraits taken from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, including such major figures as Samuel Pepys and Christopher Wren, William and Caroline Herschel, Matthew Boulton and Josiah Wedgwood, Charles Lyell and Richard Owen, Marie Stopes and Dorothy Hodgkin. The book also includes a chronological Chain Reactions chart, a bibliography and a list of houses, landmarks and sites to visit.

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Adam Hart-Davis is known to millions as the presenter of the Local Heroes television programmes, where his encyclopaedic knowledge of scientific endeavour has won him fans and admirers in many countries. As well as his parallel career as a writer and broadcaster, he has also worked as a television producer and science photographer. His publications include Scientific Eye, Science Tricks and The Local Heroes Book of British Ingenuity.

This product is supplied by the The National Portrait Gallery Company

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