From Thales and Pythagoras to Darwin and Einstein, Science: a Discovery in Comics highlights the big names in the science world. While the book focuses on the history of science, it also covers famous formulas, the scientists behind them, and the different eras of scientific thought. Even better, the author explains what the science means, simplifying theories into everyday language. It’s all told through a discussion between two people who joke, discuss, and theorize their way through history.
The writing is a very approachable take on all the scientific highlights you may or may not remember from school. Additionally, there are scientists, philosophers, and theories that you have probably never heard of, unless you studied the history of science in college.
While everything is explained clearly, nothing is dumbed down. There is a lot of information packed in these pages, with every major scientific theory crammed in and the significance of scientists who played a role in its history. There is much to learn (or re-learn) if you’re interested in great science and its key players. With a lot of humor and interesting commentary, this is science made sassy.
Although the information is explained clearly, some of the pages are plainly full of images and text, which could be overwhelming to someone taking a glance it or to a science neophyte. However, the visual overload drops when you take it panel by panel and allow yourself to take a break before speeding on to Quantum Theory after an in-depth history of physics.
Even though it is a dense read, the art is playful, juxtaposing the vast array of facts, figures, and formulas with cartoony caricatures, and bold statements and theories are coupled with visual humor and silly drawings. While the theories can be lofty, de Heer is not above making a potty joke or two. Noble gases anyone?
Considering that the book encompasses the entire history of scientific thought, de Heer does a great job at keeping it moving and compelling enough to read in its entirety. I would not recommend reading it all in one sitting, and there are some pages that provide knowledge and entertainment all on their own. This is a great, educational read with style and a few laughs along the way.
Science: a Discovery in Comics
by Margreet de Heer
NBM Publishing, 2013