Author: Kitty Ferguson
Number of Pages: 544
Acclaimed popular science writer Kitty Ferguson investigates little-explored byroads in the history of science, from Johannes Kepler's nearly disastrous venture into the realm of science fiction to a mid-twentieth-century experiment involving EEGs and rocket fuel. She introduces such under-appreciated geniuses as Mary the Jewess, the first-century ancestress of modern chemistry; and Lise Meitner, who escaped Nazi Germany only to have her role in the discovery of nuclear fission ignored by the Nobel committee. Ferguson also takes us on astounding adventures with the likes of Jesuit astronomer Ferdinand Verbiest, who invented the first automobile as a clever toy to amuse the Chinese emperor in seventeenth-century Beijing and then saved his own life by winning a bizarre astronomy competition in against his former torturer.