Horizons: A Global History of Science (Hardback)James Poskett (author)
Ambitious, revisionist and riveting, Horizons explores the history of science in its global and socio-political context, shedding light on the often overlooked contributions of non-Western scholars and highlighting the importance of international connections in scientific progress.
A radical retelling of the history of science that challenges the Eurocentric narrative.
We are told that modern science was invented in Europe, the product of great minds like Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. But this is wrong. Science is not, and has never been, a uniquely European endeavour.
Copernicus relied on mathematical techniques borrowed from Arabic and Persian texts. When Newton set out the laws of motion, he relied on astronomical observations made in Asia and Africa. When Darwin was writing On the Origin of Species, he consulted a sixteenth-century Chinese encyclopaedia. And when Einstein was studying quantum mechanics, he was inspired by the Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose. Horizons pushes beyond Europe, exploring the ways in which scientists from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific fit into the history of science, and arguing that it is best understood as a story of global cultural exchange.
Challenging both the existing narrative and our perceptions of revered individuals, above all this is a celebration of the work of scientists neglected by history. Among many others, we meet Graman Kwasi, the seventeenth-century African botanist who discovered a new cure for malaria, Hantaro Nagaoka, the nineteenth-century Japanese scientist who first described the structure of the atom, and Zhao Zhongyao, the twentieth-century Chinese physicist who discovered antimatter (but whose American colleague received the Nobel prize).
Scientists today are quick to recognise the international nature of their work. In this ambitious and revisionist history, James Poskett reveals that this tradition goes back much further than we think.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 700 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 36 mm
'Superb... Poskett rightly highlights the shamefully overlooked contributions of Indian, Chinese and Japanese scientists' - Stephen Bleach, Sunday Times
'A fundamental retelling of the story of science... Poskett deftly blends the achievements of little-known figures into the wider history of science... brims with clarity' - Chris Allnutt, Financial Times
'This treasure trove of a book puts the case persuasively and compellingly that modern science did not develop solely in Europe. Hugely important' - Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox
'Brilliant... In this revolutionary and revelatory book, James Poskett not only gives us a truly worldwide history of science, but explains how international connections have stimulated scientific advances through time' - Alice Roberts, author of Ancestors
'From palatial Aztec botanic gardens to Qing Dynasty evolutionary theories, Horizons upends traditional accounts of the history of science, showing how curiosity and intellectual exploration was, and is, a global phenomenon' - Rebecca Wragg Sykes, author of Kindred
'Remarkable. Challenges almost everything we know about science in the West' - Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in 12 Maps
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