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J Hist Astron.

A J Meadows

Science and Controversy

Norman Lockyer played an important role in the scientific community of the second half of the nineteenth century. In Science and Controversy: A Biography of Sir Norman Lockyer, Founder Editor of Nature Jack Meadows tells his story.

We find out about Lockyer's work in the civil service, which left him plenty of time to enter into scientific correspondence, leading to his founding of the well known scientific journal Nature. Lockyer was involved in the spectrographic study of the sun and became Director of the Solar Physics Observatory at South Kensington. He played a prominent part in the expansion of scientific education, but had plenty of non-mainstream ideas, and so was often involved in scientific controversies. The book also describes Lockyer's family life and his work in astro-archeology.

I have to say that I found the book a bit of a struggle. I like biographies to be in chronological order, but I can understand that sometimes it is better to treat different aspects of a person's life separately. However, in this book, even within a chapter there is a considerable amount of jumping backwards and forwards in time, and it makes it hard to follow. If you have an interest in the professionalisation of science which took place in the later part of the nineteenth century then you might want to take a look, but it doesn't have much about the early days of Nature and I didn't find it a particularly entertaining read.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 352 pages  
ISBN: 0230220207
Salesrank: 11418370
Weight:1.54 lbs
Published: 2008 Palgrave Macmillan
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 368 pages  
ISBN: 0230220207
Salesrank: 305623
Weight:1.54 lbs
Published: 2008 Palgrave Macmillan
Amazon price £37.00
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Hardcover 352 pages  
ISBN: 0230220207
Salesrank: 3746349
Weight:1.54 lbs
Published: 2008 Palgrave Macmillan
Amazon price CDN$ 46.19
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 25.47:Used from CDN$ 7.76
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Product Description
Sir Norman Lockyer left Nature , the world's leading scientific journal, as his lasting memorial. But his life, and controversial theories, are an important part of science history. His ideas were at the forefront of public debate, and ranged from brilliant to perverse. This entertaining book is a fascinating insight into his eventful life