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Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations

Series: Oxford Reference Collection

By: William F Bynum(Editor), Roy Porter(Editor)

736 pages, no illustrations

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Dec 2016 | #244646 | ISBN-13: 9780198804857
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€34 approx
Paperback | Jul 2006 | #158240 | ISBN: 0198614438
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Mar 2005 | #152815 | ISBN: 0198584091
Out of Print Details

About this book

This Dictionary is part of the Oxford Reference Collection: using sustainable print-on-demand technology to make the acclaimed backlist of the Oxford Reference programme perennially available in hardback format.

The original words announcing great scientific discoveries, from the first 'Eureka!' to the cloning of Dolly the sheep, can all be found in this fascinating addition to the world-famous 'Oxford Quotations' range. An essential reference tool, put together over 15 years with the assistance of a distinguished team of specialist advisers, it includes full author descriptions, exact sources, and a word-finding index for easy reference. Scholarly but accessible, it also presents the human face of science, as scientists reflect on achievements and failures in their own lives and those of others. Darwin not only describes natural selection, but carefully assesses the pros and cons of marriage, while James Clerk Maxwell constructs an electric but poetic Valentine as well as his 'demon'. From Archimedes to Einstein and beyond, the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations charts the progress of the great ideas of science.

'Schrödinger's wave-mechanics is not a physical theory but a dodge – and a very good dodge too.' Arthur Eddington

'I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.' Albert Einstein

'Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.' Rosalind Franklin

'I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.' Galileo Galilei

'I try to identify myself with the atoms...I ask what I would do if I were a carbon atom or a sodium atom.' Linus Pauling

"The dictionary is a good source material, richly produced in the best Oxford University Press manner."

"marvellous [...] There are other dictionaries of scientific quotations. But this extraordinay compilation is infinitely richer than a trawl through existing collections nor is it like most dictionaries of quotations, which often deal in sound-bites."

"Serendipitous is the word for this book stuffed with memorable words."
New Scientist

"Bill Bynum and the late Roy Porter's corrective plucks passages from an enormous range of literatures of science, and on science [...] A real plum pudding."
Lancet 25/06/05

" [...] an exquisite treasury of scientific thought and sensibilities."
Library Journal, July 2005



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W. F. Bynum is Professor Emeritus of the history of medicine at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. His research has been directed at a number of topics, including the history of psychiatry, the relationship between basic science and medical practice, the history of disease, especially malaria in British India, and the impact of evolutionary biology on medicine. He has edited many books, including (with Janet Browne and Roy Porter) The Macmillan Dictionary of the History of Science (1981), and (with Roy Porter) Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine, 2 vols. (1993). He is the author of Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century (1994). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh.

Roy Porter was until his retirement Professor of the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. His books include English Society in the Eighteenth Century (1982), Mind Forg'd Manacles (1987), A Social History of Madness (1987), London: A Social History (1994), The Greatest Benefit to Mankind (1997), Enlightenment (2000), Madness: A Brief History (2002), and Flesh and the Age of Reason (2003). He died in March 2002.

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