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  • Jargonium editors

Reviewing Philip Ball's book "The Elements: a visual history of their discovery"

Our Jargonium editors, Karoliina Pulkkinen and Vanessa Seifert, each review Philip Ball's book The Elements: a Visual History of their Discovery. The book offers a beautifully illustrated depiction of elements, presenting the stories of well-established chemical elements, but also of previously-thought elements that are now discarded.

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Karoliina points out that "(n)ot only does the book deliver on its promise of making the elements seem like fully rounded characters, but it does so while retaining a critical eye for Eurocentric, anachronistic, and androcentric ways of laying out such tales of discovery".

Vanessa says that "(t)he book reveals how element discovery is deeply connected to philosophical issues around science. These issues include the analysis of scientific concepts, the nature of discovery, the confirmation of theory by evidence, as well as metaphysical issues."

The book:

Philip Ball: The elements: a visual history of their discovery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021, 224 pp, $35.00 HB

Its reviews :

Karoliina's in Isis:

Vanessa's in Metascience:

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