A radical retelling of the history of science that challenges the Eurocentric narrative.
We are told that modern science was invented in Europe, the product of great minds like Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. But this is wrong. The history of science is not, and has never been, a uniquely European endeavour.
Copernicus relied on mathematical techniques borrowed from Arabic and Persian texts. When Newton set out the laws of motion, he relied on astronomical observations made in India and Africa. When Darwin was writing On the Origin of Species, he consulted a sixteenth-century Chinese encyclopaedia. And when Einstein was studying quantum mechanics, he was inspired by the young Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose.
Horizons pushes the history of science beyond Europe, exploring the ways in which scientists from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific fit into this global story. Scientists today are quick to recognise the international nature of their work. In this ambitious and revisionist history, James Poskett reveals that this tradition goes back much further than we think.
Perfect reading for fans of Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads and Bettany Hughes’s Istanbul.