The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World
La scienza non era ancora specializzata come sarebbe diventata poco dopo -e grazie anche all’opera di questi quattro ragazzi-, e Herschel e Whewell ne erano gli emblemi viventi. Astronomia, ottica, lingue, matematica, fisica, chimica, botanica… non c’era ramo della scienza nel quale i due geni non fossero ferrati e dove non facessero esperimenti innovativi.
E non erano scienziati, questo termine nascerà solo grazie a Whewell ormai all’apice ...more
Whewell's work on tides which included what must have been the first global crowd-sourced science project in which he got people around the world to take tidal measurements every 15 minutes for the same two week period.
Herschel as one of the inventors o ...more
I particularly enjoyed the knowledge that Charles Darwin was a young man during these men's ascendance and that he undoubtedly followed them and their works very closely. It is likely that they made it easier for him to finally pr ...more
This is a biography of four men that chronicles their work in the early 19 century at Cambridge. This group is called the Philosophical Breakfast Club. Charles Babbage invented a calculating machine, a primitive form of calculator, John Herschel made early contribution to the invention of photography and also mapped the skies of southern hemisphere, William Whewell did some basic work on crystal structures, and Rich ...more
Snyder makes four men -- William Whewell, Charles Babbage, John Herschel, and Richard Jones -- the center of her narrative, but does not trace their lives chronologically. Instead, after some brief biographical sketches that bring the reader to the point where the four men were together at Cambridge, she breaks her narrative up by their fields on interest, addressing i ...more
The subjects of The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World, John Herschel, Charles Babbage, William Whewell, and Richard Jones met at Cambridge where their idealism and mutual admiration for subjects such as Francis Bacon, inductive reasoning, and Leibniz's calculus notations led them to do what all young Cambridge men back in the early 19th century do - form a cl ...more
Despite already possessing relatively good knowledge of both the period and some of these players (even to the extent of reading some works by them and writing essays about them) there were still both new facts and minutiae that were new to me. It was interesting to discover and rediscover ...more
This work is a collective biography of four nineteenth century British men who met at Cambridge University and contributed to the intellectual life of their country, mainly in the sciences. They were born roughly a generation before Charles Darwin. The four men where William Whewell, who coined the word "scientist," Charles Babbage, John Herschel, and Richard Jones. Charles Babbage is known for his attempt to develop a true computer, the analytical engine as he called it. John Herschel, the son...more
The Philosophical Breakfast Club is a very good history of science book. It is a story about 4 men, William Whewell, John Hershel, Richard Jones, and Charles Babbage, who strived to take science from a field that was merely poked about in to a real professional endeavour. This book outlines their efforts and the culture of the world they lived in, as well as the the scientific accomplishments of the day.
While this is a history book, and it's topic is science, it is not ...more
The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World is a very well researched and surprisingly easy to read non-fiction text. The book follows the lives of four "Natural Philosophers" - or, in other words, scientists- William Whewell, John Herschel, Richard Jones, and Charles Babbage. These men, who met at Cambridge as undergraduates, would meet regularly to discuss sci ...more
I found LAura Snyder’s writing style very easy to read, even when she was explaining scientific concepts. Although it has been many, ma ...more
"Whewell was nearly seventy years old, and strongly committed to his religious views, which had helped sustain him in the loss of his dear friend Joens and his wife, Cordelia ...more
I took my time with this book, because it was fascinating and I didn't really want it to end. It chronicles the lives and scientific and literary work of four of England's most prominent early 19th- century intellectuals: Jones, Babage, Whewell and Herschel. In effect, they transformed Science into a field and its disciplines into professions. From the discovery of Neptune to mapping of the tides, from photography to literature to the organiz ...more
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