Oxford tome provides accessible account of mostly pre-20th century research
NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith/STScI, the HUDF Team
The Oxford Illustrated History of Science
Iwan Rhys Morus, ed.
Oxford Univ., $39.95
Books about the history of science, like many other histories, must contend with the realization that others have come before. Their tales have already been told. So such a book is worth reading, or buying, only if it offers something more than the same old stories.
In this case, The Oxford Illustrated History of Science offers most obviously an excellent set of illustrations and photographs from science’s past, from various ancient Egyptian papyruses to the Hubble Space Telescope’s ultradeep view of distant galaxies. Some of the images will be familiar to science fans; many others are obscure but apt; nearly