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Historical Science Reading List

While working checkout, I came across this very interesting book called The Story of Western Science by Susan Wise Bauer. I’ve heard of this author before because she is very popular with a lot of the parents I talk with, but I haven’t heard of this particular book before. After flipping through it, I quickly realized that I wanted to read all of the works the author listed as reference material. The books start with the first science texts and early scientific methods and go through space exploration and advanced scientific theories. This list is definitly geared towards lovers of science and math and probably less so for casual readers. Here’s the list:

TOTAL BOOKS: 38 TOTAL READ: 0 COMPLETE: 0% TOTAL TBR: 38 LEFT: 100%
Last Updated: January 17

The Reading List

PART I: The Beginnings
The Hippocratic Corpus (c. 420 BC)
The Aphorisms of Hippocrates (c. 420 BC)
Plato, Timaeus (c. 360 BC)
Aristotle, Physics (c. 330 BC)
Aristotle, History of Animals (c. 330 BC)
Archimedes, “The Sand-Reckoner” (c. 250 BC)
Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (c. 60 BC)
Ptolemy, Almagest (c. 150 AD)
Nicolaus Copernicus, Commentariolus (1514)
Nicolaus Copernicus, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543)

PART II: The Birth of the Method
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620)
William Harvey, De Motu Cordis (1628)
Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632)
Robert Boyle, The Sceptical Chymist (1661)
Robert Hooke, Micrographia (1665)
Isaac Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687/1713/1726)

PART III: Reading the Earth
George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, Natural History: General and Particular (1749-1788)
James Hutton, Theory of the Earth (1785)
Georges Cuvier, “Preliminary Discourse” (1812)
Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology (1830)
Arthur Holmes, The Age of the Earth (1913)
Alfred Wegener, The Origin of Continents and Oceans (1915)
Walter Alvarez, T. rex and the Crater of Doom (1997)

PART IV: Reading Life
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Zoological Philosophy (1809)
Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1859)
Gregor Mendel, Experiments in Plant Hybridization (1865)
Julian Huxley, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis (1942)
James D. Watson, The Double Helix (1968)
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976)
E. O. Wilson, On Human Nature (1978)
Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (1981)

PART V: Reading the Cosmos
Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and General Theory (1916)
Max Planck, “The Origin and Development of the Quantum Theory” (1922)
Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life? (1944)
Edwin Hubble, The Realms of the Nebulae (1937)
Fred Hoyle, The Nature of the Universe (1950)
Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977)
James Gleick, Chaos (1987)


Check the archive if you are interested in other reading projects I’m working on. Also, I’ve recently posted my 2018 Reading Stats and 2018 Blog Stats.

What reading projects are you working on currently?


I'm an avid reader and love most all books, but my favorite genres tend to be mystery, adventure, science fiction and classics. Genres I tend to shy away from include romance, contemporary fiction and chick lit. If I’m not actually reading books, I’m probably at work shelving them at my local library.

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