Mendeleyev's Dream: The Quest for the Elements

by Paul Strathern | Science |
ISBN: 0140284141 Global Overview for this book
Registered by bigcurlyloz of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on 10/5/2006
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, October 05, 2006
"In this book, Paul Strathern, the award-winning novelist and expositor of complex ideas, unravels the dramatic history of chemistry through the quest for the elements. Framing this history is the life-story of the 19th century Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleyev, who fell asleep at this desk and awoke after dreaming of the Periodic Table - the template upon which modern chemistry is founded, and the formulation of which marked chemistry's coming of age as a science. From ancient philosophy, through medieval alchemy to the splitting of the atom, this is the true story of the birth of chemistry and the role of one man's dream." - synopsis

Journal Entry 2 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Monday, October 09, 2006
I'm making this available as a ring as alhough I haven't got around to reading it yet, I think it deserves to be enjoyed by other people.

juhturo (Hungary - Europe)
Prilade (Bulgaria - Europe)
RonOren (UK - Europe/surface Intl)<--- book here
candy-is-dandy (UK - UK/surface Intl)
puppymummy (Australia - Intl)

How it works
- PM me to join and state your shipping preferences.
- When I have at least 5 people, I'll (probably) post the book to the first person.
- Please journal the book when it arrives and when you've sent it on.
- When you've read it, please PM the next person on the list for their address.
- Bear in mind other people want to read it, so don't put it at the bottom of your TBR pile (6 weeks is a reasonable timeframe imo)!
- The last person on the list is to send it back to me :-)

When I have enough participants I'll sort the order to suit as many people's postage preferences as possible.

Journal Entry 3 by juhturo from Székesfehérvár, Fejér Hungary on Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Got the book today with The secret life of bees. I will start reading it very soon.

Thank you!

Released 12 yrs ago (12/14/2006 UTC) at Post office in Mailed to next BC member of the Bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases



I sent the book to Prilade a few days ago via surface post.

I enjoyed the story of chemistry from the first side to the last, it was really interesting to read. After that I started to organise my minerals again :o))

Journal Entry 5 by prilade from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The book arrived a few days agoq I think on Saturday.

Journal Entry 6 by prilade from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, May 04, 2007
Apologizes for the long delay. I am posting the book today.

Journal Entry 7 by RonOren from Stockwell, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, May 19, 2007
Just arrived. Although I am quite looking forward to this book, I'm afraid it might take a while until I get to it: I'm reading The Elegant Universe at the moment, which is enough science at leisure time, even for the scientist that I claim to be... So bear with me for a week or two and then I'll read and journal it.

Thanks for the card too, Prilade! It's very nice and makes me want to visit Bulgaria at some point.

Journal Entry 8 by RonOren from Stockwell, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, June 14, 2007
This was a lot more comprehensive than I expected. I thought it would be a book about the Periodic Table, not about the whole of chemistry; or in fact, about the whole of science. It's actually quite ironic that the Periodic Table itself only features in a the very last chapter... Although, I guess that only makes sense for what is at least portrayed as the culmination of ages of chemistry. I'm not quite sure I agree with that, to be honest, although I'd be hard put to name something else that deserves that honor (DNA maybe?); maybe it's just that chemistry is too young in my mind to have a culmination already.

I thought it was a very enjoyable read, if sometimes rambling more than anything else. I really did like the little sarcastic comments in between; I just can't shake the feeling that he slipped those in without the knowledge (or OK) of his publishers (it's the kind of thing I would do...).
There were moments when the meandering was a little too much for my taste (I remember at least one instance where he says there were two major developments in that age, and proceeds to name only one), but over the whole it conveyed the maturing of science. I'd never read this as a comprehensive history of a specific science (not even chemistry, which he ostensibly describes), but as a overview of science as a whole, it's great.

Thanks for sharing this, bigcurlyoz! I'll get in touch with puppymummy and then the book will do Down Under soon.

Journal Entry 9 by RonOren from Stockwell, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, June 23, 2007
I've just sent it off to puppymummy. Not sure now why it doesn't go to candy-is-dandy first... Maybe I made a little mistake there :-(. Well, too late now, it's slowly moving to Australia already!

Journal Entry 10 by puppymummy from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Sunday, January 06, 2008
This arrived here actually a little while ago, I have had a bit of a life crisis and I'm only just now starting to get myself organised again. It's next on the tbe list.
Thanks everyone for getting it here safely!

Journal Entry 11 by puppymummy from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Saturday, January 19, 2008
I felt that this did need a little editing - a couple of times there was a reference to 'a and b. B did this and A did this, and the second one' which really confused me, and it's not that difficult to get the order consistent! Overall though I enjoyed the book and it gave a very readable overview of a dry subject. I even learned things :)
I will be keeping an eye out for his other books, this was a more interesting way of learning about science history than lectures were.
Just for interest's sake - the day after I finished this book, I was listening to a popular science program on the radio, and phlogistons were mentioned. What a coincidence :)
Will be posted in the next few days, as soon as I can get to a post office.

Journal Entry 12 by lwpallett on Wednesday, February 06, 2008
arrived in Weston today

Journal Entry 13 by lwpallett on Saturday, March 29, 2008
As a scientist (yes, I think I have probably crossed over the border from engineering even though it is still applied science), I really appreciate the history behind what I look at all the time. The periodic table has become ubiquitous, but once it was not so. Identifying and classifying the elements was unsolvable, not the matter of matching up x-ray spectra and consulting the large periodic table up on the wall that it is quite often for me. Knowing where it all came from, back in the beginning, and following the development of scientific thought was a fascinating journey.

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