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The Philosophical Breakfast Club by Laura J. Snyder - Excerpt

The Philosophical Breakfast Club by Laura J. Snyder - Excerpt

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The Philosophical Breakfast Club recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large. Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon—another former student of Cambridge—the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution. And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended.

Historian of science and philosopher Laura J. Snyder exposes the political passions, religious impulses, friendships, rivalries, and love of knowledge—and power—that drove these extraordinary men. Whewell (who not only invented the word “scientist,” but also founded the fields of crystallography, mathematical economics, and the science of tides), Babbage (a mathematical genius who invented the modern computer), Herschel (who mapped the skies of the Southern Hemisphere and contributed to the invention of photography), and Jones (a curate who shaped the science of economics) were at the vanguard of the modernization of science.

This absorbing narrative of people, science and ideas chronicles the intellectual revolution inaugurated by these men, one that continues to mold our understanding of the world around us and of our place within it. Drawing upon the voluminous correspondence between the four men over the fifty years of their work, Laura J. Snyder shows how friendship worked to spur the men on to greater accomplishments, and how it enabled them to transform science and help create the modern world.

To read more about The Philosophical Breakfast Club or Laura J. Snyder please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.
The Philosophical Breakfast Club recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large. Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon—another former student of Cambridge—the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution. And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended.

Historian of science and philosopher Laura J. Snyder exposes the political passions, religious impulses, friendships, rivalries, and love of knowledge—and power—that drove these extraordinary men. Whewell (who not only invented the word “scientist,” but also founded the fields of crystallography, mathematical economics, and the science of tides), Babbage (a mathematical genius who invented the modern computer), Herschel (who mapped the skies of the Southern Hemisphere and contributed to the invention of photography), and Jones (a curate who shaped the science of economics) were at the vanguard of the modernization of science.

This absorbing narrative of people, science and ideas chronicles the intellectual revolution inaugurated by these men, one that continues to mold our understanding of the world around us and of our place within it. Drawing upon the voluminous correspondence between the four men over the fifty years of their work, Laura J. Snyder shows how friendship worked to spur the men on to greater accomplishments, and how it enabled them to transform science and help create the modern world.

To read more about The Philosophical Breakfast Club or Laura J. Snyder please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.

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Publish date: Feb 22, 2011
Added to Scribd: Jan 12, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/04/2014

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Copyright © 2011 by Laura J. Snyder
Copyright © 2011 by Laura J. Snyder
All rights reserved.
 All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Broadway Books, an imprint of the
Published in the United States by Broadway Books, an imprint of the
Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
www.crownpublishing.com
 www.crownpublishing.com
BROADWAY BOOKS and the Broadway Books colophon are
BROADWAY BOOKS and the Broadway Books colophon are
trademarks of Random House, Inc.
trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Snyder, Laura J.
Snyder, Laura J.
The philosophical breakfast club: four remarkable friends who
The philosophical breakfast club: four remarkable friends who
transformed science and changed the world / Laura Snyder. —1st ed.
transformed science and changed the world / Laura Snyder. —1st ed.
p. cm.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Scientists—Great Britain—Intellectual life—19th century.
1. Scientists—Great Britain—Intellectual life—19th century.
2. Science—Philosophy. 3. Scientists—Great Britain—Biography.
2. Science—Philosophy. 3. Scientists—Great Britain—Biography.
I. Title.
I. Title.
Q141.S5635 2010
Q141.S5635 2010
509.2
509.2
'
'
241—dc22 2010025790
241—dc22 2010025790
ISBN 978-0-7679-3048-2
ISBN 978-0-7679-3048-2
eISBN 978-0-307-71617-0
eISBN 978-0-307-71617-0
Printed in the United States of America
Printed in the United States of America
Book design by Lauren Dong
Book design by Lauren Dong 
Title page art: from
Title page art: from 
A History of the University of Cambridge
 A History of the University of Cambridge
 by William Combe (London: for Rudolph Ackermann, 1815)
by William Combe (London: for Rudolph Ackermann, 1815) 
Jacket design by Evan Gaffney
 Jacket design by Evan Gaffney 
Jacket photographs: background image: Elizabeth Whiting & Associates;
 Jacket photographs: background image: Elizabeth Whiting & Associates; 
portraits of Whewell, Herschel, Babbage: Mary Evans Picture Library
 portraits of Whewell, Herschel, Babbage: Mary Evans Picture Library 
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