This marvellous, unique anthology has an unusual history. John Carey is a Professor of English, who several years ago began a self-education programme in science. After struggling through tome after tome of impenetrable science writing he conceived the idea of this collection: a tour d'horizon of science, through clear and accessible prose. The result of his labours is a triumph of the editor's art, the quintessential bedside book.| We look down a microscope with Ronald Ross as he discovers the secret of malaria; join the workers in Edison's laboratory as they put together the first light bulb and watch the construction of the world's first atomic pile. From a Scientific American competition of the 1920s Carey has rescued a lucid explanation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity; and from our own age, Steve Jones explains the Human Genome Project and Richard Dawkins propounds his vision of the DNA-centred universe.