Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors” as Want to Read:
The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  704 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A wonderfully readable account of scientific development over the past five hundred years, focusing on the lives and achievements of individual scientists, by the bestselling author of In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat

In this ambitious new book, John Gribbin tells the stories of the people who have made science, and of the times in which they lived and worked. He begins with Co
...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Scientists, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Scientists

The Ghost Map by Steven JohnsonThe Discoverers by Daniel J. BoorstinThe Age of Wonder by Richard HolmesThe Scientists by John GribbinThe Scientific Revolution by Steven Shapin
Social Histories of Science
4th out of 52 books — 26 voters
Einstein by Walter IsaacsonGenius by James GleickThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnThe Discoverers by Daniel J. BoorstinTesla by Margaret Cheney
Scientists and Philosophers
19th out of 89 books — 91 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,464)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
عمر
لا أستطيع إخفاء إعجابي بأسلوب الكاتب في عرضه لتاريخ العلم بأسلوب بسيط ومباشر يخلو من التعقيد والعجيب أن القائمين على عالم المعرفة قد كتبوا هذا الكلام في التعريف بالمؤلف (من أعظم وأشهر كتاب العلم بأسلوب روائي شائق وبسيط)، لا أريد أن أكثر من الثناء على الكتاب فالإنسان يحكم بناء على ما عنده من العلم وأنا لم أقرأ في تاريخ العلم إلا كتابًا واحدًا قبل هذا الكتاب وهو (قصة العلم) لكراوثر طبعته مكتبة الأسرة.
الكتاب جميل وأنصح به من يحب القراءة في تاريخ العلم بعيدًا عن (تعقيد) الفلسفة العلمية فهو أبسط ما ي
...more
 مولاي أرشيد أحمدو
يستعرض الكتاب تاريخ العلم من خلال السير الذاتية للعلماء خلال الحقبة المتوسطة، ثم خلال الحقبة الحديثة يخف الحديث قليلا عن السير الذاتية، والأمر راجع إلى أن الانجازات والاختراعات الكبرى في الحقبة الأولى كانت شبه فردية بينما خلال العصر الحديث بدأت تتكون مؤسسات وفرق علمية وبدأ يخف تأثير الفرد ليكون النشاط العلمي جماعيا أكثر وأكثر.
يبدأ الكتاب بعام 1534 وينتهي بعام 2001 ويبرر الكاتب تاريخ البداية بأنه قد صدر فيه كتابين مؤسسين ومتجاوزين للتفكير الذي كان سائدا، الكتاب الأول بيولوجي بعنوان "بنية جسم الإن
...more
Sandy
I should preface this by saying that I love learning about science, especially chemistry.

I wondered at the outset if I would ever finish this book because it contained over 600 pages about the history of science, but I found myself turning pages much faster than expected. Gribbin does a fantastic job of keeping science history interesting by intermingling fascinating tales about the lives of several prominent scientists and squabbles had amongst those great thinkers. He manages to mention almost
...more
Claire
Phew! A really great history of science starting with the 15th century and working right up to the present day. Focusing on not just the scientific discoveries but the scientists themselves, this gives a really human feel to the story of science. We get to know a little about everyone's life, from Copernicus to Einstein. Also touching on a bit of the classical Greek period, where philosophy overlapped with science.

Gribbin's style of writing is comprehensive without being too much. He acknowledg
...more
Hany Adieb
Aug 21, 2012 Hany Adieb rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Hany by: محسن عبد المسيح قلادة
Shelves: science
الكتاب من سلسلة عالم المعرفة - التي تصدرها الموسسة الوطنية الكويتية التي أحترمها بشدة ، ياريت في مصر عندنا موسسة تنشر في الوطن العربي مواضيع رائعة زي كده
المهم محسن عبد المسيح ابن خالتي / نصحني بالكتاب و ياريته ما نصحني فالكتاب غاية في الروعة ، يتحدث بشكل روائي عن تاريخ العلم والعلماء
و نصيحته اسرعوا في قراءته حتى تتمتعوا بالجزء الثاني
Dеnnis
Magnificent tour-de-force on the development of science as we know it.

With one big limitation, which the author duly acknowledges: it doesn't cover advances and breakthroughs in medical science, no matter how stupendous they were. If you want to see how discoveries of vaccination, microbes and viruses, anaesthesia etc... fit into a larger context of science development, you better look elsewhere. Names of Jenner, Pasteur, Koch, Flemming and multiple others are found nowhere on its pages. There y
...more
محمد علي
كتاب ممتع يسرد تطور العلم بطريقه دراميه دون ان تشعر باي ملل
بالنسبه لي شخصيا نزع الكتاب الهاله المقدسه حول العلم والعلماء فالعلم هو عميه تراكميه عبر اجيال مختلفه عبر فروض اغلبها يكون خاطىء يتبعها استدراك وتصحيح
اغفل الكتاب نهائيا اى ذكر لدور العلماء العرب والسلمين
عدنان
الكتاب ليس كعنوانه:
هو يقدم-كما يقول الكاتب في مقدمته- تاريخ العلم في أوروبا، وتحديداً ابتدآءاً من عصر النهضة.

أسلوب الكاتب في سرد القصص جميل جداً، يجعلك تتصل بالعالِم المذكورة قصته بصورة أوثق، ويجعل تقبلك لأفكاره والحديث عن انجازاته العلميّة أوضح بالنسبة لك، جميل ذلك بالرغم من أسلوب الكاتب المُمل أحياناً و المُفصّل في جانبيَن:
الأول: سرد تفاصيل كثيرة جداً في حياة بعض العلماء.
الثاني: سرد تفاصيل في انجازات علميّة قَد يكون فهمها معقداً وصعباً على غير المتخصصين
كان بالامكان في هذه الحالة التبسيط برسوم
...more
Abdelrahman Elshamy

عملٌ قيمٌ للغاية ليس لمضمونه القوى وحسب بل هو كذلك أيضا لما فى أسلوبه من تميز واختلاف , فهو يعرض فى أسلوب تاريخى أدبى ممتع لعمرِ طويلِ من تاريخ تطور وصناعة العلم , بشكل ينال إعجاب واهتمام القارئ المتخصص وغير المتخصص على السواء.

الكتاب يولى اهتماما كبيرا بالتأكيد على أن كل ما أنجز من تطور فى العلوم هو نتاج طبيعى ومنطقى للتراكب والبناء العلمى عبر السنين , ففى رأى الكاتب أنه حتى أكثر العلماء إستثنائية فى تاريخنا ماكان ليؤثر غيابه عن عالمنا فى سلسلة تطور العلم بأكثر من تأخر بضع سنين لاتكاد تذكر , ف
...more
Blair
I started out loving this book, it gave glimpses into the men who helped form science. When we approached the modern era, a time when some of the scientists discussed are still alive possibly, the tone changed... the book stopped being about the people and more only about the science. It was this change that threw me off... I suppose there is a valid reason to not continue the quirks to include something like Richard Dawkins has had a propensity to wear short shorts in public places (which I hav ...more
David
This book manages to accomplish the not insignificant feat of taking material which is intrinsically fascinating, feeding it into a kind of death-prose generating machine, and regurgitating it as what feels like a single 600-page long indigestible eructation (to mix my digestive metaphors).

Shame on you, John Gribbin! In producing this ill-gotten lumpen-tour, which manages to leach all the interest out of what should be a fascinating magical mystery-tour, all you have managed to illuminate are th
...more
Emma
Phew! I was suffering from some serious scientific history fatigue towards the end of this book.

Gribbin has produced a very interesting book here. The absence of the more obscure characters in the history of science or the lack of detail about them was disappointing as was the strong focus on physics but even so this book was enjoyable. Gribbin sums up scientific discoveries and theories well and provides the reader with interesting details about well known scientific figures. There are a lot of
...more
JS Found
You'd want to get this book for your kid. Along with Carl Sagan's Cosmos and both TV adaptations. Because science, properly taught or written about, can be very exciting for a kid to learn. This is the story of all its wonders told by bios of the people who invented and discovered them.

400 years of science are elegantly compacted into this synthesis, but Gribbin writes with such ease and clarity, with all the pleasures of narrative history, that you don't notice you're learning science. Not the
...more
Bruno Gavinho
Excelente livro. Gribbin narra a história da ciência, e dos cientistas que a compuseram, do período 1600- 2001, um trabalho nada fácil. Através de evidências, o autor expõe a grande contribuição da Renascença para diferentes áreas da ciência, e durante toda a obra detalha de maneira brilhante os avanços científicos, especialmente na astronomia e física.O livro contém detalhes pouco divulgados sobre a vida dos cientistas(em especial sobre o astrônomo Halley, e o químico Michael Faraday). No entan ...more
Mscout
Excellent history of science told through the life of scientists. Gribbin has just the right touch of snark, and his own training as a scientist gives him a unique perspective.
Khalil
2.5*

I am fond of History of books , I find them helpful in understanding the evolution of ideas through history . Unfortunately books that hold the name History of Science are few . I've read a translated version of this book stands in tow volumes ( 400 pages for each ) I skipped most of them , Gribbin was focusing very much on the personal lives of the scientists ( as the title indicates ) he was trying to do for science as Plutarch did for philosophy and Vasari for art, I mean the Lives .

A
...more
Tyas
A great book about the concise history of science.
Steve
This exceptional work tackles such a broad subject while maintaining absolute clarity of subject matter for the general reader. The author explains his choice of starting point at 1543 as marking both landmark publications in the fields of astronomy and biology respectively of Copernicus’ ‘On the Revolution of Celestial Bodies’, and Andreas Vesalius’ ‘On the Structure of the Human Body’. Copernicus revolutionised astronomy by proposing an alternative to the geocentric Ptolemaic model of the univ ...more
Ilya
An attempt to tell the history of science from Copernicus till the present in 600 pages. A whirlwind of the scientists' names, biographies and brief explanations of the scientific work of each. A reviewer criticized Norman Davies's Europe: A History being really a history of Poland in disguise; Gribbin's book is really a history of astronomy in disguise. Much more attention is given to astronomy and physics (Gribbin is an astrophysicist by education) than to biology and medicine, and none to log ...more
Silent_count
This book offers glimpses into lives of the the prominent scientists from Galileo (roughly the late 1500's) to the present moment. It was easy to tell that it was written by an author with a passion for the subject and a delight for sharing his interest with the reader. He's also taken some pains to create coherent, story-like threads from the often disjointed timeline of progress in the various branches of science.

Unfortunately, I'd have severe reservations about recommending this book to anyon
...more
عبدالرحمن عقاب
هذا الكتاب بجزأيه هو تأريخ رائع وبديع لمسيرة العقل البشري في طريق العلم والتكنولوجيا.
ويمثل مع كتاب "برتراند راسل" المعنون (حكمة الغرب) توثيق رائع لمسيرة العقل والتفكير البشري (الغربي) . ولأنّ الثاني أغفل المسلمين والأوّل بدأ من بعدهم، فقد لزم هذه الأمّة توثيق تاريخها الفكري والعلمي بصورة مشابهة، ولعلّ سلسلة عالم المعرفة تتبنى مثل هذا المشروع .
هنالك تنبيه إلى تكرار بعض الصفحات في الجزء الأول ، وما يبدو انقطاع "واحد" في النص في الجزء الثاني.
أعود إلى الكتاب والذي أبدع كاتبه في استقصاء الأفكار وحي
...more
Nguyen Santiago
Nice biographical detail (I knew Newton was crazy; I didn't know he was a total asshole too), though it can get a bit too much at times. For someone who left contact with the study of science in secondary school, I found the science mostly followable for about two thirds or so of the book. It also brought back some clear flashbacks of old classrooms, with the sudden realisation, 'ah, so that's what they were talking about,' and a small pang of regret that I wasn't more in to it at the time.

The
...more
Angela Benedetti
John Gribbin has chosen to tell the history of Western science through the biographies of the scientists who created it, giving the reader a wonderful sense of how the different approaches, discoveries and fields link up, as well as an appreciation for science as a very human activity. The advances are explained well and clearly, and the lives of the scientists themselves are shown briefly, but with appropriate quirks, warts and strange coincidences intact.

I particularly like how Gribbin debunks
...more
Alex
Overview books are tricky, and most fail. Many things have happened, y'know? And a book that includes a great deal of them often turns into...well, into a list of things that have happened. This is why all textbooks suck.

So one has to pick and choose, and the choice necessarily creates a perspective. You've picked up these select threads, which leaves you inevitably with that picture. And the trick in writing a good overview book is to end up with a picture that's interesting, compelling, and mo
...more
Shehab
يستحق الكاتب رفع القبعة في مهاراته في السرد وادخال التفاصيل الدقيقة في مواصعها المناسبة.
ويستحق رفع القبعة ايضا في التأريخ والاسناد.
انا شخصيا كان لدي مشاكل اني لم افهم كل التفاصيل العلمية و الافكار التي اعتمد عليها التطور من نظرية لنظرية ربما كان هذا(بالاضافة لاي اسباب تخص قدرتي انا على الفهم) بسبب عدم اعتيادي على اسلوب الكتابة العربية العلمية بما يحتويه من مصطلحات عربية لبعض الاجهزة والادوات اظن اني كنت ساتعرف عليها لو كانت بالانجليزية(لغة دراستي)
كنت اشعر بالملل في بعض الاحيان عندما كان يحكي تفا
...more
Jc
John Gribbin has a remarkable ability to explain science to non-specialists in a detailed, informative, and yet quite entertaining manner. This book mostly skips what one might call the pre-history of science, the science of classical Greece and other pre-Copernican ideas, except where it helps explain the context of what came later. Gribbin starts instead in the Renaissance and builds from there. Mixing biographical information with the discussion of what individual scientists added to the grow ...more
Jeff Kissel
The Scientists takes a semi-biographical view of the people behind scientific progress as it covers the history of the developments from the Renaissance to the present. Since there are so many notable characters throughout science history, each can only be devoted a few paragraphs (or pages if they are more unique) and most of the biographical aspects covered are focused on areas related to their ultimate scientific contributions. As science developed and branched into more specialized areas, so ...more
Steve Van Slyke
Jan 12, 2011 Steve Van Slyke rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Science lovers
Recommended to Steve by: Dan
Shelves: dan-s, science, history
This book is similar in some respects to Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy which takes the reader on a tour of the great philosophers from Aristotle to Kant, Locke and Voltaire. In this case the journey is from Ptolemy, Copernicus and Gallileo to Einstein and Feynman with a lot of stops in between.

At times the author delves a little deeper into the personal history of some of the scientists than was necessary for this reader. And being British and understandably writing primaril
...more
Laura
So I'm not really sure how to rate this one. Maybe 2 and a half stars? There were parts of it and aspects that I liked, but also some things that I didn't like. The author made an attempt to summarize the scientific discoveries of the last several centuries (hence the 616 pages), and he was careful to do so in terms of the scientists rather than the science itself. I liked getting a nice, overall picture of how different developments came about and how they affected each other. I also liked read ...more
Peter
I really liked this book a lot. It complements Asimov's history (Isaac Asimov's New Guide to Science) in that whereas Asimov often does a very thorough job of explaining the key experiments on a technical level, Gribbin goes into the personality and influences of each scientist. Gribbin also explains the connections between each scientist's work and the advances in technology making the work possible. Gribbin's main thesis throughout the book is that science advances through 'evolution' rather t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 82 83 next »
  • The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World
  • Science: A Four Thousand Year History
  • Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World
  • Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution
  • The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450
  • A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks
  • A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos
  • The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance
  • The Northern Lights: The True Story of the Man Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aurora Borealis
  • Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society
  • The Day We Found the Universe
  • The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments
  • Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima
  • The Calendar
  • Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA
  • Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species
  • Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist
  • The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus
1418
John R. Gribbin (born 1946) is a British science writer, an astrophysicist, and a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. The topical range of his prolific writings include quantum physics, biographies of famous scientists, human evolution, the origins of the universe, climate change and global warming. His also writes science fiction.

John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor's de
...more
More about John Gribbin...
In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries Science Of Philip Pullman's " His Dark Materials " In Search of the Multiverse Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity

Share This Book