This is the history of science like it has never been told before, uncovering its unsung heroes and revealing that the most important scientific breakthroughs have come from the exchange of ideas from different cultures around the world.
When we think about the origins of modern science we usually begin in Europe. We remember the great minds of Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. But the history of science is not, and has never been, a uniquely European endeavor. Copernicus relied on mathematical techniques that came from Arabic and Persian texts. Newton’s laws of motion used astronomical observations made in India and Africa. When Darwin was writing On the Origin of Species, he consulted a sixteenth-century Chinese encyclopedia. And when Einstein studied quantum mechanics, he was inspired by the young Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose. In this ambitious and revisionist history, James Poskett recasts the history of science, uncovering the vital contributions that scientists in Africa, America, Asia, and the Pacific have made to this global story.