Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Science: A History” as Want to Read:
Science: A History
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Science: A History

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  979 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
ISBNs for 2003 edition re-used for this one
Science: A History is the enthralling story of the men and women who changed the way we see the world, and the turbulent times they lived in: from Galileo, tried by the Inquisition for his ideas, to Newton, who wrote his rivals out of the history books; from Marie Curie, forced to work apart from male students for fear that she mi
Paperback, 672 pages
Published August 27th 2009 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 2002)
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 Science, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Science

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Science Books - Non-Fiction Only
391st out of 1,064 books — 2,620 voters
The Ecological Rift by John Bellamy FosterThe Book of Disquiet by Fernando PessoaSimulacra and Simulation by Jean BaudrillardThe Society of the Spectacle by Guy DebordSteppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
Best Horizon Expanding Books
225th out of 301 books — 229 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 979)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 09, 2014 عمر rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
 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
Nov 14, 2011 C rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, science
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
Feb 11, 2009 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 30, 2008 Blair rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2015 Philipp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A history of science told in many lives - each chapter focusing on one aspect of the history of science, with the chapter itself being a chronologically ordered story of scientific lives. In that aspect, it's very much like Bell's Men Of Mathematics (GR link, my review), not only is The Scientists structured similarly, the humorous tone and fun anecdotes are similar too:

Henry was painfully shy and hardly ever went out except to scientific gatherings - even at these, latecomers sometimes found h
Abdelrahman Elshamy
Nov 13, 2012 Abdelrahman Elshamy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

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
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
Mar 11, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2008 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
محمد علي
Oct 26, 2013 محمد علي rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2011 Mscout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mohamed Yehia
Jun 14, 2015 Mohamed Yehia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كيف تحكي قصة العلم و العلماء بشكل شيق و جذاب يمزج بين العلم و بعضا من السياسة و الحياة و الشخصية و التطور الانساني
Mohamed Helal
Aug 14, 2012 Mohamed Helal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب في غاية المتعة بأسلوبه الروائي .. يضعك أمام رؤية شامله لتطور العلم والمنهج العلمي والتجريبي في أسلوب أخاذ
Aug 16, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
High 4. 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 ...more
Aug 21, 2008 Tyas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biology
A great book about the concise history of science.
Steve Van Slyke
Jan 12, 2011 Steve Van Slyke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science lovers
Recommended to Steve by: Dan
Shelves: history, science, dan-s
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
Aug 16, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, want-to-own
The Scientists is a fantastic book describing the history of Western science through the lives of many well known and even more lesser know scientists. The book is grouped chronologically into five parts, each of which is further divided into chapters by scientific discipline. I appreciated this format because it preserved the overall historical arc while organizing the development of various fields into coherent stories. The chapters are rather long and packed with information – this is definit ...more
عبدالحفيظ العمري
قسّم المؤلف عمله إلى 5 أقسام رئيسية أطلق على كل قسم اسم كتاب، وكل كتاب يشمل عدد فصول مغطيا الفترة من عام 1543م وحتى عام 2001م.
الكتاب الأول (الخروج من عصور الظلام)، فصله الأول (رجال عصر النهضة) يتحدث عن جهود كوبرنيكس حول مركزية الشمس وكتابه (عن دوران الاجسام السماوية) ويعرج على قضية برونو الذي تم إحراقه، ليفاجئنا المؤلف بقوله " كثيرا ما ذهب البعض إلى أن برونو تم حرقه بسبب دعمه لنموذج كوبرنيكس وحقيقة الأمر أنه كان بالفعل زنديقا "مهرطقا" وتم حرقه بسبب معتقداته الدينية "!
ثم يعرض المؤلف جهود عالم الت
Dec 26, 2010 Ilya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kerem Cankocak
Mar 31, 2016 Kerem Cankocak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ünlü bilim yazarı John Gribbin, “Bilimsel Devrimler” kavramına karşı çıkar. Ona göre Bilimsel Devrimler fikri, genelde bilimsel araştırmalara hiç katılmamış sosyologlar tarafından çok tutulan bir mittir. Gribbin bilimin sabırla, yeni veriler elde edildikçe yeni modeler oluşturarak, yeni fikirlerin evrilmesiyle ilerlediğini vurgular.

Bilim Tarihi dünyayı algılayışımızı değiştiren erkek ve kadınların ve onların içerisinde yaşadıkları altüst oluş dönemlerinin büyüleyici öyküsüdür. Düşünceleri yüzünd
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
JS Found
May 17, 2014 JS Found rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nate (The Candid Scientist)
John Gribbin's "The Scientists" is more or less the story of how the field of science evolved into what it is today. Along the way, Gribbin also gives character to the famous scientists that we've all heard of (e.g. Newton and Copernicus) through rich storytelling. This made the book real enjoyable for me! However, as the book chronologically arrives at modern times, Gribbin begins to forgo such stories and instead goes into lengthy discussions on the de-individualization of the scientist, the i ...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
Nguyen Santiago
May 20, 2012 Nguyen Santiago rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-and-tech
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.

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
Sep 01, 2010 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, 2010
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
  • The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World
  • Science: A Four Thousand Year History
  • Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution
  • Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World
  • The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450
  • The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance
  • A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks
  • The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World
  • Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima
  • A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos
  • قصة العلم
  • The Great Arc: The Dramatic Tale of How India Was Mapped and Everest Was Named
  • The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments
  • A Short History of Philosophy
  • A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable
  • أنثوية العلم: العلم من منظور الفلسفة النسوية
  • Descartes: The Life and Times of a Genius
  • God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
John R. Gribbin 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 includes 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 degree in phy
More about John Gribbin...

Share This Book