Scientists, Mathematicians, and Inventors: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World (Lives and Legacies Series)

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9781573561518: Scientists, Mathematicians, and Inventors: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World (Lives and Legacies Series)
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The first of four volumes in the landmark Lives and Legacies Oryx Press series, Scientists, Mathematicians, and Inventors profiles approximately 200 men and women who changed the world by leaving lasting legacies in their fields. It fills a gap in the biographical reference shelf by offering far more than basic facts about a scientist's life and work―each entry describes not only the immediate effects of the individual's discoveries, but their impact on later scientific findings as well. Each entry contains a timeline listing important dates in the biographee's life as well as a bibliography of the most important works on the subject. A master timeline chronicling major events in scientific exploration and an annotated general bibliography are also included.

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About the Author:

DORIS SIMONIS is professor and chair of the Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies Department, Kent State University, Ohio. Previously, she held the position of associate professor and coordinator of the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Kent State. Dr. Simonis is also a member of the Ohio Department of Education Science Program Review Committee, the coordinator of the Ohio Operation Physics team, and a charter member of the International Consortium for Gender in Science and Technology (GASAT). Dr. Simonis has written prolifically, including chapters in books and numerous scholarly articles.

From Booklist:

This is the first of a projected four-volume biographical series called Lives and Legacies, aimed at students in high school through college. The first volume presents biographies of 200 men and women. As stated in the introduction, subjects were selected on the basis of work that had significant influence on society in general or on scientific disciplines in particular, influence that extended beyond a lifetime or work that extended beyond the limits imposed on these individuals (e.g., women and minorities) by contemporary society.

Although coverage extends back to Pythagoras, nearly 75 percent of the subjects are people who lived in the last 200 years. Entries are alphabetically arranged, and each usually includes an illustration of the person, followed by a one-page synopsis of the "Life and Work," and "Legacy." Each of the essays is signed by one of the nine contributors who worked on the volume. Each entry also contains a short time line showing the world events juxtaposed with major events in the biographee's life and a further reading list of between two and six items.

There are several appendixes. One, "Highlights in the History of Science, Mathematics, and Invention," gives major events starting with B.C.E. and continuing through 1990, with the introduction of the Microsoft Corporation's Windows computer operating system or GUI (graphical user interface) system. This is followed by a list of biographies arranged by country and a list of biographies arranged by scientific discipline. A topically arranged bibliography and an index complete the work.

As always, readers might question some of the selections. If Bill Gates is chosen as a modern giant of technology, why not include Steve Jobs, too, who brought the GUI to market years before Gates in the form of the Macintosh computer. Despite the book's claim of highlighting women inventors, scientists, and mathematicians, there are only 20 of them profiled among the 200 biographies. But a more important question is whether libraries need another volume that profiles important scientists. Many of these individuals are also covered in greater detail in Marshall Cavendish's Biographical Encyclopedia of Mathematicians [RBB D 15 98] and Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists [RBB My 15 98], among other recent titles. Features unique to the Oryx volume are the summary of each scientist's legacy and the time lines that place events in each scientist's life in the context of world history. Recommended for school and public libraries that serve the high-school level and up and need additional coverage in the area. Future titles in the Lives and Legacies series will cover artists, writers, and musicians; philosophers and religious leaders; and government leaders, military rulers, and political activists.

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