The best history of science books

4 authors have picked their favorite books about the history of science and why they recommend each book.

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Mysteries of the Quantum Universe

By Thibault Damour, Mathieu Burniat,

Book cover of Mysteries of the Quantum Universe

While not really a kid’s book, Mysteries of the Quantum Universe is a fully illustrated graphic novel about a journey through time to visit the historical figures in quantum physics. At each location, the protagonist learns about the quantum world straight from the scientists themselves—fun! The language is a bit complex and so you may have to read it together. It may seem weird to “read” a graphic novel to a child, but I promise it works!

Mysteries of the Quantum Universe

By Thibault Damour, Mathieu Burniat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mysteries of the Quantum Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling French graphic novel about the mind-bending world of quantum physics

Take an incredible journey through the quantum universe with explorer Bob and his dog Rick, as they travel through a world of wonders, talk to Einstein about atoms, hang out with Heisenberg on Heligoland and eat crepes with Max Planck. Along the way, we find out that a dog - much like a cat - can be both dead and alive, the gaze of a mouse can change the universe, and a comic book can actually make quantum physics fun, easy to understand and downright enchanting.

'Billed as…


Who am I?

I am a professor of quantum physics—the most notoriously complicated science humans have ever invented. While the likes of Albert Einstein commented on how difficult quantum physics is to understand, I disagree! Ever since my mum asked me—back while I was a university student—to explain to her what I was studying, I’ve been on a mission to make quantum physics as widely accessible as possible. Science belongs to us all and we should all have an opportunity to appreciate it!


I wrote...

Quantum Physics for Babies

By Chris Ferrie,

Book cover of Quantum Physics for Babies

What is my book about?

Quantum Physics for Babies is a colorfully simple introduction to the principle that gives quantum physics its name. Babies (and grownups!) will discover that the wild world of atoms never comes to a standstill. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest scientists. After all, it’s never too early to become a quantum physicist!

Book cover of The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts

Edward Grant’s book begins, as mine does, with the medieval rediscovery of Aristotle’s works, but he focuses more intensively than I do on the impact of the new learning on scientific education and discovery. Writing clearly and gracefully, Grant demonstrates that a real scientific revolution began three hundred years before the “Scientific Revolution” of the sixteenth century. Along the way, he has some fascinating things to say about the curriculum of medieval universities and life among the first generation of European scientists. A valuable and enjoyable read.    

The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages

By Edward Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Contrary to prevailing opinion, the roots of modern science were planted in the ancient and medieval worlds long before the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Indeed, that revolution would have been inconceivable without the cumulative antecedent efforts of three great civilisations: Greek, Islamic, and Latin. With the scientific riches it derived by translation from Greco-Islamic sources in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Christian Latin civilisation of Western Europe began the last leg of the intellectual journey that culminated in a scientific revolution that transformed the world. The factors that produced this unique achievement are found in the way…

Who am I?

I’m a professor of conflict resolution at George Mason University and have been working for years trying to understand the causes of and methods of resolving religious conflicts. I studied the Middle Ages thinking that I’d find a story about Catholic fundamentalists persecuting innovative thinkers like Copernicus and Galileo. Instead, I found a story about religious leaders such as Pope Innocent III, Peter Abelard, and Thomas Aquinas borrowing ideas from the Greeks, Muslims, and Jews, revolutionizing Catholic thought, and opening the door to modern ideas about the power of reason and the need for compassion. What a trip!            


I wrote...

Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages

By Richard E. Rubenstein,

Book cover of Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages

What is my book about?

Conventional history tells us that the Middle Ages were a time of backwardness and superstition. Schoolchildren are still taught that modern science wasn’t born until late in the Renaissance, when innovators like Copernicus and Galileo challenged the ancient view of the cosmos embraced by the Roman Catholic Church. But wait! The Church actually sponsored a revolution in theology, ethics, and science beginning in the 1100s, when Aristotle’s lost works were discovered in Arab Spain, translated into Latin, and taught in Europe’s new universities.

Remarkably, the Church allowed its own worldview to be transformed by these challenging discoveries, laying the foundations for modern Western consciousness.  This book shows that religion does not have to be “fundamentalist” or anti-science. In important ways, we are all Aristotle’s children.          

The Theory That Would Not Die

By Sharon Bertsch McGrayne,

Book cover of The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy

The full title of this wonderful book is The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy. Bayes’ Theorem is a one-line mathematical formula, named after a Scottish church minister, that calculates the updated probability of an event occurring given new information that we receive.  Applications of Bayes’ Theorem are diverse and profound, from recommendation systems to automated translation algorithms to weather prediction.

This well-researched book does a deep dive into the most important characters of mathematical statistics over the past three centuries, and explains how Bayes’ Theorem was used to solve problems that were deemed unsolvable, including cracking the German Enigma Machine during World War II. I teach Bayes’ Theorem in several of my courses, and have found much inspiration in McGrayne’s book.

The Theory That Would Not Die

By Sharon Bertsch McGrayne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Theory That Would Not Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice: A vivid account of the generations-long dispute over Bayes' rule, one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of applied mathematics and statistics

"An intellectual romp touching on, among other topics, military ingenuity, the origins of modern epidemiology, and the theological foundation of modern mathematics."-Michael Washburn, Boston Globe

"To have crafted a page-turner out of the history of statistics is an impressive feat. If only lectures at university had been this racy."-David Robson, New Scientist

Bayes' rule appears to be a straightforward, one-line theorem: by updating our initial beliefs with objective new…


Who am I?

I have devoted my entire career to mathematics, and have a life filled with meaning and purpose through my roles as an educator, researcher, and consultant. I teach at the Vancouver campus of Northeastern University and am the owner and principal of Hoshino Math Services, a boutique math consulting firm. 


I wrote...

The Math Olympian

By Richard Hoshino,

Book cover of The Math Olympian

What is my book about?

My book is about a small-town Canadian teenager named Bethany, who has an impossible dream: to represent her country at the International Math Olympiad. Through persistence, perseverance, and the support of innovative mentors who inspire her with a love of learning, Bethany overcomes numerous challenges and develops the creativity and confidence to reach her potential.

In training to become a world-champion "mathlete", Bethany discovers the heart of mathematics - a subject that's not about memorizing formulas, but rather about problem-solving and detecting patterns to uncover truth, as well as learning how to apply the deep and unexpected connections of mathematics to every aspect of her life. Through this journey, Bethany discovers that through mathematics, she can and she will make an extraordinary contribution to society.

Fabulous Science

By John Waller,

Book cover of Fabulous Science : Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery

Gregor Mendel was a lone genius who, pottering with pea plants, unlocked the secrets of modern genetics; Charles Darwin boldly took on the power of the Church with his theory of evolution; chance favoured the prepared mind of Louis Pasteur…right? Well, no, not according to historian John Waller who takes a sledgehammer to the heavily mythologised historical accounts of scientific discovery that are so often found in textbooks before kindly picking up the pieces to rearrange them into a much more honest and authentic account of how science works. Physicist-turned-philosopher Thomas Kuhn once warned that trying to learn the history of science from the pages of a science textbook was no better than assuming an intimate knowledge of a foreign country and its customs after having briefly thumbed through a glossy travel brochure. If the past is indeed a foreign country, then Waller is a reliable local guide who speaks…

Fabulous Science

By John Waller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fabulous Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The great biologist Louis Pasteur suppressed 'awkward' data because it didn't support the case he was making. John Snow, the 'first epidemiologist' was doing nothing others had not done before. Gregor Mendel, the supposed 'founder of genetics' never grasped the fundamental principles of 'Mendelian' genetics. Joseph Lister's famously clean hospital wards were actually notorious dirty. And Einstein's general relativity was only 'confirmed' in 1919 because an eminent
British scientist cooked his figures. These are just some of the revelations explored in this book.

Drawing on current history of science scholarship, Fabulous Science shows that many of our greatest heroes of…

Who am I?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that a crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. But the Covid pandemic has changed all that and as a result we’ve all become acutely away of both the impact of science on our lives and our need to be more informed about it. Having long ago hung up my white coat and swapped the lab for the library to be a historian of science, I think we need a more honest, authentic understanding of scientific progress rather than the over-simplified accounts so often found in textbooks. 


I wrote...

The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

By Kersten T. Hall,

Book cover of The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

What is my book about?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that s crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. This was thanks to the scientists William Astbury and Florence Bell, whose research for the local textile industries of West Yorkshire led them to make the very first attempt to solve the structure of DNA. In so doing, they paved the way for the later success of the more famous scientific duo of James Watson and Francis Crick, but Astbury’s real scientific legacy went far beyond DNA and was to be found in a rather unusual overcoat that may well have a stark new relevance in a world scarred by Covid-19.

Science

By Patricia Fara,

Book cover of Science: A Four Thousand Year History

To properly understand where women fit in to the history of science, we need to have a fair grasp of what science and the history of science is, and this book offers a perfect introduction. It is the antidote to many linear “progress” driven narratives that insist that the history of western science is simply a straight line from the Greeks with each generation building and improving on the one before. This book attempts to tell the whole story of science, science from across the world, the internationalism of it, the politics, the interrelation between ideas and culture. Although not strictly about historical women in science, I’ve included it here as a kind of foundation to understanding the rest.

Science

By Patricia Fara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Science: A Four Thousand Year History rewrites science's past. Instead of focussing on difficult experiments and abstract theories, Patricia Fara shows how science has always belonged to the practical world of war, politics, and business. Rather than glorifying scientists as idealized heroes, she tells true stories about real people - men (and some women) who needed to earn their living, who made mistakes, and who trampled down their rivals in their quest
for success.

Fara sweeps through the centuries, from ancient Babylon right up to the latest hi-tech experiments in genetics and particle physics, illuminating the financial interests, imperial ambitions,…

Who am I?

Formerly curator of astronomy at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, I am an occasional writer and researcher and a now full-time primary school teacher in the north of England.  My popular books include The Stargazer’s Guide and The Quiet Revolution of Caroline Herschel; I have also contributed to various academic publications, including a paper on William Herschel for Notes & Records of the Royal Society which won their 2014 Essay Award.


I wrote...

The Quiet Revolution of Caroline Herschel: The Lost Heroine of Astronomy

By Emily Winterburn,

Book cover of The Quiet Revolution of Caroline Herschel: The Lost Heroine of Astronomy

What is my book about?

Caroline Herschel was a quiet, unassuming, always accommodating eighteenth-century singer turned astronomer. She discovered several comets, nebulae, and star clusters and contributed in various ways to a family project that allowed her brother, William Herschel to become an astronomer so prolific and inventive he is sometimes termed the father of modern astrophysics. Curiously, much of the work that made Caroline her own name in astronomy took place in a 10-year period entirely missing from her journal.

My book looks at those 10 years, in part to celebrate that work which made her the first woman ever published in the Royal Society and a respected name across Europe, but also to understand why she decided to destroy the journal evidencing of her thoughts and feelings during that same period.

The Meaning of Fossils

By Martin J.S. Rudwick,

Book cover of The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology

It’s one thing to appreciate that fossils record the history of life, but something else altogether to understand how we came to know that. Rudwick’s classic book recounts the discoveries, large and small, that over centuries revealed fossils to be remnants of lost worlds. An exceptional exercise in the history of science. The Meaning of Fossils is required reading for students of paleontology.

The Meaning of Fossils

By Martin J.S. Rudwick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Meaning of Fossils as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"It is not often that a work can literally rewrite a person's view of a subject. And this is exactly what Rudwick's book should do for many paleontologists' view of the history of their own field."-Stephen J. Gould, Paleobotany and Palynology

"Rudwick has not merely written the first book-length history of palaeontology in the English language; he has written a very intelligent one. . . . His accounts of sources are rounded and organic: he treats the structure of arguments as Cuvier handled fossil bones."-Roy S. Porter, History of Science

Who am I?

An acclaimed scientist, teacher, and writer, Andrew Knoll has travelled the world for decades, investigating ancient rocks to understand the intertwined histories of our planet and the life it supports. His boyhood thrill at discovering fossils has never deserted him. It continues to motivate him to explore topics that range from the earliest records of life and the emergence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere; the diversification of both plants and animals, and the intricacies of mass extinctions, past and present. He has also participated in NASA’s exploration of Mars.


I wrote...

A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters

By Andrew H. Knoll,

Book cover of A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters

What is my book about?

We live our lives tethered to the Earth, but how well do you know our planetary home?

Drawing on his decades of field research and up-to-the-minute understanding of the latest science, Andrew H. Knoll delivers a rigorous yet accessible biography of Earth, charting our home planet’s epic 4.6-billion-year story. Placing twenty-first-century climate change in deep context, A Brief History of Earth is an indispensable look at where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Inferior

By Angela Saini,

Book cover of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-And the New Research That's Rewriting the Story

If scientists wanted to exclude women, a powerful approach would be to use science itself to demonstrate that female skills would not be fit for science’s purpose, to prop up the idea of female weakness and vulnerability, that there was some kind of evolutionarily determined biological inevitability about women’s status as inferior. Saini’s forensic filleting of the science behind such arguments is a must-read for those wishing to arm themselves against ‘gotcha’ culture, where someone will triumphantly cherry-pick research findings from any branch of science in favour of their own argument. Of course, this works both ways. We are taught to challenge research rather than just accept that it must be true because it is published. Another ire-inducing and thought-provoking read.

Inferior

By Angela Saini,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Inferior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Inferior is more than just a book. It's a battle cry - and right now, it's having a galvanising effect on its core fanbase' Observer

Are women more nurturing than men?
Are men more promiscuous than women?
Are males the naturally dominant sex?
And can science give us an impartial answer to these questions?

Taking us on an eye-opening journey through science, Inferior challenges our preconceptions about men and women, investigating the ferocious gender wars that burn in biology, psychology and anthropology. Angela Saini revisits the landmark experiments that have informed our understanding, lays bare the problem of bias in…


Who am I?

I’m a myth-busting feminist neuroscientist waging a campaign against the rigid gender stereotypes that govern so much of our lives and set so many onto unfulfilling paths. Seeing how often the brain gets dragged into explanations for gender gaps, I put my neuroscience hat on to check back through science and through history to find the truth behind the idea that female brains were different (aka inferior) and that their owners were therefore incompetent and incapable. What a myth! Nowhere does this play out more clearly than in the history of women in science, as shown by the books on this list. 


I wrote...

Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

By Gina Rippon,

Book cover of Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

What is my book about?

Do you have a female brain or a male brain? Or are we asking the wrong question? 

On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that our sex determines what kind of brain we have, and that these brains will determine our abilities and aptitudes, our preferences and personalities. No women scientists? Blame the Brain! But just how different are females and males? Can brain scientists tell the differences between female and male brains? Are females and males really distinguished by their levels of empathy or their map-reading skills? Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience, this book revisits these old questions and provides surprising answers. Rigorous, timely, and liberating, The Gendered Brain has huge repercussions for women and men, for parents and children, and for how we identify ourselves.

God's Philosophers

By James Hannam,

Book cover of God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science

The Middle Ages in Europe weren't quite the festering stew of ignorance, superstition, and pointless theological arguments about how many angels could fit on the head of a pin as they have often been portrayed. In God’s Philosophers, James Hannam offers a refreshing challenge to the orthodox portrayal that all was darkness until the dawn of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. He also reveals how, far from being the enemy of science, religious belief actually stimulated scientific enquiry during this time. Moreover, while Isaac Newton may have once remarked that he had seen further thanks only to standing on the shoulders of giants (a remark which Hannam points out was not actually original at the time), many of those giants–such as the scholars Nicole Oresme and John Buridan had been leading lights of Medieval science.

God's Philosophers

By James Hannam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Philosophers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a powerful and a thrilling narrative history revealing the roots of modern science in the medieval world. The adjective 'medieval' has become a synonym for brutality and uncivilized behavior. Yet without the work of medieval scholars there could have been no Galileo, no Newton and no Scientific Revolution. In "God's Philosophers", James Hannam debunks many of the myths about the Middle Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth is flat, nor did Columbus 'prove' that it is a sphere; the Inquisition burnt nobody for their science nor was Copernicus afraid of persecution; no Pope tried…

Who am I?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that a crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. But the Covid pandemic has changed all that and as a result we’ve all become acutely away of both the impact of science on our lives and our need to be more informed about it. Having long ago hung up my white coat and swapped the lab for the library to be a historian of science, I think we need a more honest, authentic understanding of scientific progress rather than the over-simplified accounts so often found in textbooks. 


I wrote...

The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

By Kersten T. Hall,

Book cover of The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

What is my book about?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that s crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. This was thanks to the scientists William Astbury and Florence Bell, whose research for the local textile industries of West Yorkshire led them to make the very first attempt to solve the structure of DNA. In so doing, they paved the way for the later success of the more famous scientific duo of James Watson and Francis Crick, but Astbury’s real scientific legacy went far beyond DNA and was to be found in a rather unusual overcoat that may well have a stark new relevance in a world scarred by Covid-19.

Bittersweet

By Chris Feudtner,

Book cover of Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and the Transformation of Illness

The discovery of insulin in early 1922 was a medical milestone that has since saved countless lives–my own included. Until this moment, a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes was a certain death sentence. But as diabetes clinician and historian of medicine, Chris Feudtner points out, the success of insulin has distorted historical accounts of diabetes by marginalising the experience of the patient in favour of narratives that focus on the development of medical technology to treat them. And Feudtner’s diagnosis is confined not just to diabetes but to the history of medicine in general. Following a personal epiphany that patients have an existence beyond X-rays and blood tests, Feudtner set out to address this problem by writing a history of diabetes as told from the perspective of patients. He does so magnificently and offers important insights about our relationship with technology that extend well beyond the treatment of diabetes.

Bittersweet

By Chris Feudtner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bittersweet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of medicine's most remarkable therapeutic triumphs was the discovery of insulin in 1921. The drug produced astonishing results, rescuing children and adults from the deadly grip of diabetes. But as Chris Feudtner demonstrates, the subsequent transformation of the disease from a fatal condition into a chronic illness is a story of success tinged with irony, a revealing saga that illuminates the complex human consequences of medical intervention.

Bittersweet chronicles this history of diabetes through the compelling perspectives of people who lived with this disease. Drawing on a remarkable body of letters exchanged between patients or their parents and Dr.…

Who am I?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that a crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. But the Covid pandemic has changed all that and as a result we’ve all become acutely away of both the impact of science on our lives and our need to be more informed about it. Having long ago hung up my white coat and swapped the lab for the library to be a historian of science, I think we need a more honest, authentic understanding of scientific progress rather than the over-simplified accounts so often found in textbooks. 


I wrote...

The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

By Kersten T. Hall,

Book cover of The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

What is my book about?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that s crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. This was thanks to the scientists William Astbury and Florence Bell, whose research for the local textile industries of West Yorkshire led them to make the very first attempt to solve the structure of DNA. In so doing, they paved the way for the later success of the more famous scientific duo of James Watson and Francis Crick, but Astbury’s real scientific legacy went far beyond DNA and was to be found in a rather unusual overcoat that may well have a stark new relevance in a world scarred by Covid-19.

Koala

By Ann Moyal,

Book cover of Koala: A Historical Biography

Koalas are one of Australia’s most loved and most well-recognized animals, and yet it’s surprising how little is known about them.  They feature prominently in Australian Indigenous stories, and yet were rarely used for clothing or artwork. When Europeans first arrived, it took them over 10 years before they even noticed these strange animals living in the trees above them and they have continued to bemuse scientists ever since. Ann Moyal, one of Australia’s most eminent historians of science, tackles the story of how we know what we do about koalas in an intriguing story about our patchy history with the koala, from neglect and exploitation and near extinction, to protection and international fame as the poster-child for Australian conservation.

Koala

By Ann Moyal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Koala as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The koala is both an Australian icon and an animal that has attained 'flagship' status around the world. Yet its history tells a different story. While the koala figured prominently in Aboriginal Dreaming and Creation stories, its presence was not recorded in Australia until 15 years after white settlement. Then it would figure as a scientific oddity, despatched to museums in Britain and Europe, a native animal driven increasingly from its habitat by tree felling and human settlement, and a subject of relentless hunting by trappers for its valuable fur. It was not until the late 1920s that slowly emerging…

Who am I?

I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was nine years old and wrote my first ‘book’ on animals for a school library competition. I went on to study animal behavior at university and complete a doctorate in conservation biology and seabirds in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. I’ve worked in zoos and museums, written twelve books on animals as various as killer whales and koalas, extinct megafauna, and marine reptiles. Learning more about the natural world, the people who study it, and the importance of protecting it, has been the driving force behind all of my books and a joy to share with readers. 


I wrote...

Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

By Danielle Clode,

Book cover of Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

What is my book about?

For a century, the ‘killer whales’ of Twofold Bay herded baleen whales towards the harpoons of local whalers, helping them hunt and sharing the rewards. It was a life of industry, adventure, and a strange and unique partnership between orcas and humans. All that remains today, are the stories, and the massive skeleton in the local museum of the legendary prankster, Old Tom, who stayed long after the rest of the pod left. 

Killers in Eden explores how this relationship between whaler and orca developed. Using modern knowledge of orcas to untangle fact from myth, helped me uncover a truly remarkable history of the killers in Eden.

Or, view all 13 books about the history of science

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