Eureka! A Big Book of Discoveries

Eureka! A Big Book of Discoveries
Jonathan Litton and Wenjia Tang
Little Tiger

If you lack an open inquiring mind, open eyes and imagination, it’s unlikely that you’ll discover anything new or shed fresh light on something that’s already known.

In this book Jonathan Litton takes a look at all kinds of amazing discoveries from both long ago and recent times, history being the first theme with dinosaur remains the first topic along with what some key palaeontologists have discovered. I was astonished to read that on account of several factors including improved technology and more trained palaeontologists, dinosaurs are ‘being discovered at a faster rate than ever … a new species per week on average.’

Ancient civilisations and some of their artefacts are presented next including a visit to some entire cities that were lost.

The second section ‘Introduction to Earth’ takes readers to both the Arctic and Antarctic regions as well as deep down into oceans

and right into the earth’s core. We read of extinct species and new ones that are recent discoveries: I’d not heard before of the psychedelic frogfish that usually walks on the ocean floor but can make itself into a ball and jet propel itself from one place and another.

Section three presents discoveries of a scientific and mathematical kind, some like penicillin, accidental, others the outcome of experimentation either simple or incredibly complicated and costly.

Perhaps your interest is space. That is Litton’s next theme, about which humans have discovered relatively little despite it being a source of fascination for well over 1000 years. It’s good to see Vera Rubin and her work on galaxy rotation getting a mention herein

and I’m pleased that the author devotes a double spread to women whose remarkable discoveries gained them scant credit at the time. This forms part of the final ‘nature of discoveries’ section that considers some philosophical questions – what makes a discovery a discovery?

The world is a dynamic place and it’s likely in the time that I’ve taken to read this book and write these words, fresh knowledge is being uncovered. That truly is an incredible idea …

A thoroughly engrossing and inspiring book, alluringly illustrated by Wenjia Tang to add to individual and school collections.

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