More Passion for Science: Journeys Into the Unknown

final_MorePassion_300dpiFrom the derring do of the Air Transport Auxiliary ferrying planes around the UK during the Second World War under incredibly dangerous conditions, to the programming of the first electronic general purpose computer, from the rigorous physical and psychological testing of Mercury astronaut hopefuls to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, More Passion for Science: Journeys into the Unknown shines a light on many untold and overlooked stories. 

This second book in the Passion for Science series tells of many perilous and brave journeys in to the unknown, some metaphorical, many real. The writers who popularised science in the 19th century included Isabella Bird Bishop, who travelled the world and became famous for her detailed descriptions of the culture, geography, flora and fauna of the countries she explored. The women of the UK’s Air Transport Auxiliary undertook to fly planes from airbase to airbase, sometimes only having a moment to familiarise themselves with landing procedures once they had got the plane up in to the air and were en route.

Physicist Joan Curran also played a crucial part in the war, inventing a radar-reflecting chaff which could be used to confuse the Luftwaffe, though her personal journey lead her to co-found the Scottish Association of Parents of Handicapped Children, now ENABLE Scotland, and campaign for better support and treatment of disabled people and their families. Then there is Martha Matilda Harper, given into indentured servitude by her father when she was aged just seven, but destined to becomes a great businesswoman, inventing the reclining shampoo chair and developing the hairdressing salon franchise.

We also explore the less well known side of Florence Nightingale, often described as The Lady With The Lamp and rightly credited with the professionalisation of nursing, Nightingale was also a statistician who invented the polar area graph, a type of pie chart, and the line (bar) graph. She was also the first to use such infographics to campaign for change, specifically, much needed public health improvements army hospitals and barracks.

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A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention

A Passion for Science coverRe-release coming soon!

From the identification of the Horsehead Nebula to the creation of the computer program, from the development of in vitro fertilisation to the detection of pulsars, A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention brings together inspiring stories of how we achieved some of the most important breakthroughs in science and technology.

But it’s not just the inventors and the pioneers whose stories we hear in this volume, we also hear about the equally important users of technology: The Polish radio girl who risked her life in World War II to feed intelligence to the resistance via her illegal radio set, and the family of refugees who fled to the UK and whose most treasured possession was a sewing machine. This might be everyday technology, but these are not everyday stories.

Only one thing unites these stories, whether it is the ground-breaking use of scuba diving to study sharks, or the remarkable posse of ‘Trowelblazers’ spearheading the study of archaeology, geology and palaeontology — all our protagonists are women.

Find out about scuba-diving ichthyologist Eugenie Clarke, known as The Shark Lady, and Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, whose discovery revolutionised our understanding of how stars could behave. We also hear about Chien-Shiung Wu whose decision to study physics in America just prior to World War II had not just a profound effect on her life but also on the success of the Manhattan Project, and Joan Feynman, whose work on the solar wind not only helps explain auroras, it is also still used by the satellite industry. And, of course, no book would be complete without a look Ada Lovelace herself, the first computer programmer and mother of computer science.

Find out more and read sample chapters!