John Gribbin’s science and literature

Link: Campaign for the American Reader: Scientific works that are also literature.

I discovered a couple of things from the above blog post. First, John Gribbin’s The Fellowship is or is just about to be published in the USA. The book has been out for six months or more in the UK and is recommended by Malcolm, who is in it (the fellowship, that is). The book, he says, is not so much a history of the Royal Society (as it had been billed pre-release in the UK) but an account of how it was set up, complete with all the scientific rivalries of the time. He thoroughly enjoyed it.

The other thing I learned from the "Campaign for the American Reader" blog is that Gribbin, a well-known scientific author and journalist, has recommended five scientific works that, in his view, are also literature. His list: Micrographia by Robert Hooke; On the Lodestone and Magnetic Bodies by William Gilbert; Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman; On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin; and  Fragments of Science by John Tyndall.

Here is John Gribbin’s article (The Opinion Journal of the WSJ), containing the list and why he chose each title.

Other books by John (he must have written more than 100, surely) that have been appreciated at Petrona Towers include Science: A History and, an earlier work, In Search of Schroedinger’s Cat. Another of his many books, which I think I have somewhere but haven’t read (yet?) is The Science of His Dark Materials (coauthored with Philip Pullman himself and Mary Gribbin). John’s latest book, not yet published, is The Universe: A Biography.


1 thought on “John Gribbin’s science and literature

  1. John Gribbins’s output astonishes me. I really think the man must write in his sleep. The Fellowship sounds good – definitely one to get – but quite a strange, slightly sinister title to me, smacking of freemasonry…

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