Since the scientific revolutions of the seventeenth century, a great number of distinguished scientists and mathematicians have been associated with Cambridge University. Cambridge Scientific Minds is a unique account of some of the University's most eminent thinkers over the last 400 years, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and James Clerk Maxwell. While the rapid establishment during the Newtonian era of a series of professorships for mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, anatomy, botany, geology, and geometry marked the University's scientific coming of age, this volume's chronological balance reflects on the increasing importance of science in the institution's recent history. Chapters on Paul Dirac, Alan Turing, Joseph Needham, and Stephen Hawking, among others, represent the recent intellectual efflorescence at Cambridge. Personal memoirs and historical essays, written by leading historians, scientists, and Nobel Laureates, make Cambridge Scientific Minds as enjoyable to read as it is accessible. Peter Harman is Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University. He has published primarily on the history of physics and natural philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries, the period from Newton to Maxwell. His previous books include Energy, Force and Matter (Cambridge, 1982), The Investigation of Difficult Things (Cambridge, 1992), After Newton: Essays on Natural Philosophy (Variorum, 1993), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, volume 1 (Cambridge, 1990), volume 2 (Cambridge, 1995). Simon Mitton studied physics at the University of Oxford, and received a PhD in radio astronomy at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is Senior Fellowat St. Edmund's College, Cambridge. This is his tenth book.
'... a fascinating biographical compilation.' Douglas Palmer, New Scientist '... a valuable reminder of our scientific heritage and an entertaining and informative read ...' Astronomy & Geophysics '... contains many fascinating stories across a wide range of disciplines ...' George Ellis, Physics World '... a lively, balanced account that is accessible, interesting and thought-provoking to the non-specialist as well as to the historian of science or society.' Norma Emerton, Cambridge 'These selections can but tempt the prospective reader to delve deeper into the delightful insights provided by this volume. While intended to contribute to the popular consumption of the history of science, Cambridge Scientific Minds also epitomizes the best of recent developments in the history of science itself. The authors and editors are to be congratulated for a job very well done.' Isis '... strong on context ... The book can be recommended to anyone wanting to get an overview of the history of science ... this is a book that will be read with pleasure and advantage ...' Ambix