A Short History of Nearly Everything

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A Short History of Nearly Everything is a popular science book by American author Bill Bryson that explains some areas of science, using a style of language which aims to be more accessible to the general public than many other books dedicated to the subject. It was one of the bestselling popular science books of 2005 in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies.[1] instead describing general sciences such as chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics. In it, he explores time from the Big Bang to the discovery of quantum mechanics, via evolution and geology. Bryson tells the story of science through the stories of the people who made the discoveries, such as Edwin Hubble, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Background Bill…show more content…
Just like the alchemists of old, scientists have a regrettable tendency to "vaile their secrets with mistie speech". Science, John Keats sulked, "will clip an Angel 's wings, / Conquer all mysteries by rule and line." Bryson turns this on its head by blaming the messenger rather than the message. Robbing nature of its mystery is what he thinks most science books do best. But, unlike Keats, he doesn 't believe that this is at all necessary. We may be living in societies less ready to believe in magic, miracles or afterlives, but the sublime remains. Rather as Richard Dawkins has argued, Bryson insists that the results of scientific study can be wondrous and very often are so. The trick is to write about them in a way that makes them comprehensible without crushing nature 's mystique. Bryson provides a lesson in how it should be done. The prose is just as one would expect - energetic, quirky, familiar and humorous. Bryson 's great skill is that of lightly holding the reader 's hand throughout; building up such trust that topics as recondite as atomic weights, relativity and particle physics are shorn of their terrors. The amount of ground covered is truly impressive. From the furthest reaches of cosmology, we range through time and space until we are looking at the smallest particles. We explore our own planet and get to grips with the ideas, first of Newton and then of Einstein, that allow us
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