Thoughtful Gifts for Curious People


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Modern science, as it is commonly taught, was invented in Europe, the product of great minds like Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. However science is not, and has never been, a uniquely European endeavour.

Copernicus borrowed techniques from Arabic and Persian texts. Newton relied on astronomical observations made in Asia and Africa. Darwin consulted a sixteenth-century Chinese encyclopaedia when writing On the Origin of Species. Horizons explores the ways in which scientists from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific have moulded the history of science, arguing that it is best understood as a story of global cultural exchange.

Challenging the existing narrative, this is a celebration of the work of scientists neglected by western history. 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.

Hardback, 464 pages.