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Leonardo: The First Scientist

Michael White

4 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

* Subtitled 'The First Scientist', this new one-volume biography places science at the centre of Leonardo da Vinci's life and work

This book is both a revelatory biography and an accessible study of Leonardo's life and multi-faceted work as a scientist and engineer. It covers all aspects of the man's life but is also a re-interpretation of the voluminous evidence to paint an original picture of Leonardo da Vinci not only as the archetypal polymath, but as the first true scientist. Topics include:

* A detailed investigation of how Leonardo's manuscripts and notebooks were lost to the world and kept secret during his own lifetime and how this altered the progress of science.

* A thorough analysis of his work as a scientist and how he predated many of the great figures of the 16th and 17th centuries, including Galileo, Kepler, William Harvey, Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton.

* Leonardo's legacy -- what did Leonardo leave in his notebooks and how may they be viewed in the light of modern scientific understanding What did he achieve in science

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Praise for Leonardo: The First Scientist

  • White's level-headed assessments of the scientific content of Leonardo's surviving works are characteristically clear and easy to follow . . . [White] sifts fact from opinion in the works of his predecessors, and conveys his own enthusiasm and admiration for his subject - LITERARY REVIEW

  • A lively and often informative book - SUNDAY TIMES

  • By focusing on the motivational aspects of science, White successfully expands the definition of the term "scientist" . . . [Leonardo's] spirit is present in White's careful scholarship and independence of mind - TES

  • Wholly fascinating. - INDEPENDENT

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Michael White

Michael White is a former science writer for GQ magazine. In a previous incarnation he was a member of the Thompson Twins pop group, before becoming a full-time writer in 1991.

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