The Art of Science, By Richard Hamblyn


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The Independent Culture

Treat this "natural history of ideas" as a lucky-dip, a vitamin shot or a course of study.

Hamblyn's scintillating mosaic is taken from millennia of scientific writings - Babylonian maths to the Large Hadron Collider.

It does more than prove that great scientists - and their expositors - can write with clarity and verve. This tapestry of extracts serves as a mind-sharpening invitation to dig deeper, from astrophysics to zoology.

Even byways charm: such as cryptographer Sarah Flannery's account of how a book ISBN number works.