The Case of the Poisonous Socks: Tales from Chemistry (Paperback)William H Brock (author)
- In stock
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Number of pages: 362
Weight: 533 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 19 mm
Who could resist a book with a title like that?Written over Bill Brock's career of more than forty years as an historian, they carry an easy authority and are thoroughly accessible.The book is an entertaining read.The Royal Society of Chemistry is to be congratulated for publishing these spirited essays as part of the Year of Chemistry. They deserve and ought to reach a wide public; and will also be a valuable resource for professional historians * Ambix - David Knight *
on the whole I found the tales intriguing and absorbing. enjoyable and enlightening, and often made me chuckle, sometimes to myself and sometimes out loud.anyone with more than a passing interest in chemistry should find it thoroughly enjoyable and perhaps will come away, as I did, remembering that sometimes things can be learned in science by looking to the past, as well as to the future. * Emily Flashman *
'this is the perfect bedside book for any chemist and hopefully for any other scientist with a historical inclination. The essays, all self-contained and mostly very short, are ideal for dipping into.''you're sure to find this book full of delights.' * Philip Ball *
'I found it interesting to read just how much of an influence chemistry has had on our day to day lives, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat'. 'Each chapter is a collection of relatively short and easy to read essays, making it simple to put the book down and pick up again late. My favourite was the story which gives this book its title. It was interesting to read that chemical detective work is not a modern notion and funny to learn about the scientists' views on the colourful undergarments of Victorian society! ''Written in a friendly, flowing format, this book would be appealing to anyone with any interest in the history of chemistry and science in general' * Rebecca Brodie *
"I didn't know that!" was a common and delighted reaction of mine as I read these essays. Readers interested in an idiosyncratic tour of some of the sights in the history of chemistry centered in 19th- and early 20th-century Britain can scarcely expect a more knowledgeable orengaging guide than William Brock. * Carmen Giunta *
This is a delightful book! -- H. E. Pence * CHOICE October 2012 Vol. 50 No. 02 *
Some of the articles explore fascinating chemical sidelights, such as the socks mentioned in the title... -- H. E. Pence * CHOICE October 2012 Vol. 50 No. 02 *
This reviewer especially enjoyed the stories about the development of early teaching techniques for chemistry... -- H. E. Pence * CHOICE October 2012 Vol. 50 No. 02 *
The book truly offers something for almost anyone interested in chemistry. -- H. E. Pence * CHOICE October 2012 Vol. 50 No. 02 *
Summing Up: Highly recommended. -- H. E. Pence * CHOICE October 2012 Vol. 50 No. 02 *
WILLIAM H. BROCK. The Case of the Poisonous Socks: Tales from Cheinistry. London: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011. 362 pp. $32. One way to provide an audience with welcome relief from data overload is to illustrate lectures with historically relevant tales. As a bonus, this method also enhances the reputation of the lecturer as engaging and well-rounded. Every chemist aspiring to such a reputation should read TheCiJseofthe Poisonous Socks and then keep it as a ready reference. It is, to be sure, decidedly British in flavor and focused on the 19th and early 20th centuries, but that is precisely what makes it such a valuable reference. Science historian William H. Brock sticks to his cholarship in assembling this collection of 42 short essays, and he tells thein in an entertaining.manner that facilitates learning and subsequent retelling. Chapter 1 explains the book's title and provides insight into the development of product safety and worker protection. From there the stories can be accessed in any order and tell fascinating tales of the people who helped develop modern chemistry as well as those who, while educated in chemistry, made their reputations in other fields. My personal favorite is "The Chemist from Hanwell Asylum:' Brock here tells the story of the mid-19th century a1,1thor of two satirical letters who claims to have been driven mad by the lack of standardization in chemical notation at a time when even simple chemical structures, such as water and ammonia, lacked consistent notation. -- Bob Kenworthy * CHEMlCAL HERlTAGE Fall 2012/Winter 2013 *
Science historian William H. Brock sticks to his scholarship in assembling this collection of 42 short essays, and he tells thein in an entertaining.manner that facilitates learning and subsequent retelling. -- Bob Kenworthy * CHEMlCAL HERlTAGE Fall 2012/Winter 2013 *
"The Royal Society of Chemistry consistently publishes some of the best popular literature about chemistry; The Case of the Poisonous Socks is another resource that can enlarge your appreciation for the history of chemistry and enrich your teaching." "Brock writes in a lively and convincing manner about some of the most colorful characters in science..." "Chemists with any interest at all in history will find real nuggets throughout Poisonous Socks." -- Hal Harris * J. Chem. Educ. 2013, 90, 823 831 dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed400332b *
"The present volume consists of 42 essays and reviews, updated and revised..." "While there is a lot of detail in the text,Brock also provides a 'further reading' list for each chapter, and the book is rounded out with an excellent, 22-page index." -- Ian Rae FRACI CChem * Chemistry in Australia, August 2013 *
"The author displays his considerable scholarship in every line and even the shortest pieces are so dense in terms of information as to provide a multitude of 'jumping off points' for further exploration" "The book might well serve as a source of short readings for students to prompt discussion on a variety of general topics of a historical or sociological nature." "The essays certainly do inspire the enquring reader with a desire to know more" "Each essay is itself a mine of glorious nuggets of information, much of which is unreferenced, offering the reader such gems as the sock story mentioned earlier, an entertaining song about sewerage, and the involvement of the Chemist Justus Liebig with the origins of Fray Bentos corned beef and Oxo" -- Georgette Taylor * Metascience *
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