Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (Hardcover)
Springer, 9783540688310, 5983pp.
Publication Date: March 6, 2009
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This milestone extensive work combines the essentials of history - biography, chronology, political and economic background - with the observations, theories, principles, laws and equations that constitute the specifics of science.
The 5800-page Encyclopedia arises from the conviction that the optimal perspective on science is through the lens of history, setting aside traditional divisions of discipline and specialty, and rising above geopolitical boundaries. Reaching from 4,200 BCE to the 21st century CE, the Encyclopedia tells (as the author himself puts it) "not only who did it and when it was done but also precisely what was done."
The author, Ari Ben-Menahem, surveys 100 generations of great thinkers, offering 2070 detailed biographies of scientists, engineers, explorers and inventors, who left their mark on the history of science and technology. The span of coverage is all-encompassing: mathematics, philosophy, logic, physical and environmental sciences (including physics, chemistry, astronomy, earth and space sciences and cosmology), life sciences (biology, medicine, physiology, botany, zoology and biochemistry), associated engineering disciplines, and the social sciences (among them economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics and more).
The six-volume Encyclopedia also includes 380 articles summarizing the time-line of ideas in the leading fields of science, technology, mathematics and philosophy, plus useful tables, figures and photos, and 20 'Science Progress Reports' detailing scientific setbacks. Interspersed throughout are quotations, gathered from the wit and wisdom of sages, savants and scholars throughout the ages from antiquity to modern times.