In the early eighteenth century, at the peak of the Enlightenment, an unlikely team of European scientists and naval officers set out on the world’s first international, cooperative scientific expedition. Intent on making precise astronomical measurements at the Equator, they were poised to resolve one of mankind’s oldest mysteries: the true shape of the Earth.
In Measure of the Earth, award-winning science writer Larrie D. Ferreiro tells the full story of the Geodesic Mission to the Equator for the very first time. It was an age when Europe was torn between two competing conceptions of the world: the followers of René Descartes argued that the Earth was elongated at the poles, even as Isaac Newton contended that it was flattened. A nation that could accurately determine the planet’s shape could securely navigate its oceans, giving it great military and imperial advantages. Recognizing this, France and Spain organized a joint expedition to colonial Peru, Spain’s wealthiest kingdom. Armed with the most advanced surveying and astronomical equipment, they would measure a degree of latitude at the Equator, which when compared with other measurements would reveal the shape of the world. But what seemed to be a straightforward scientific exercise was almost immediately marred by a series of unforeseen catastrophes, as the voyagers found their mission threatened by treacherous terrain, a deeply suspicious populace, and their own hubris.
A thrilling tale of adventure, political history, and scientific discovery, Measure of the Earth recounts the greatest scientific expedition of the Enlightenment through the eyes of the men who completed it—pioneers who overcame tremendous adversity to traverse the towering Andes Mountains in order to discern the Earth’s shape. In the process they also opened the eyes of Europe to the richness of South America and paved the way for scientific cooperation on a global scale.
Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.
Larrie D. Ferreiro is the author and editor of several books on the history of science and technology, including Ships and Science, which received the North American Society for Oceanic History's John Lyman Award for Best Book in Science and Technology. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.Review:
Andrés Reséndez, author of A Land So Strange
“The greatest achievement of Larrie D. Ferreiro’s wonderful book is to walk us with perfect ease through remote locales and arcane subjects. Mr. Ferreiro seems no less at home in Guayaquil than in Paris or London and no less lucid in explaining the debates over the shape of the earth between Newtonians and Cartesians than in describing the intrigues surrounding the French Academy or the excruciating logistics of a scientific mission unfolding in colonial South America.”
“[A] fascinating and clearly written account”
Library Journal, starred review
“Ferreiro (whose Ships and Science won the 2007 John Lyman Award for Best Book in Science and Technology) here marvelously details an almost doomed 18th-century geodesic expedition to South America to determine Earth’s shape. Ferreiro’s skill as storyteller and scholar is displayed in full vigor. Easy to read and fast moving, the book is often dramatic. ... Rarely does a history of science volume discuss such events, and rarely does its author present them so well. Ferreiro also masterfully blends political and scientific history, going to lengths to place the expedition’s people and events in context.”
Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.
Descrizione libro Basic Books, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0465017231
Descrizione libro Basic Books, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Brand New. 1st edition. 376 pages. 9.25x6.13x1.19 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria zk0465017231
Descrizione libro Basic Books, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110465017231
Descrizione libro Basic Books, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0465017231
Descrizione libro Basic Books. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0465017231 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.1159917
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97804650172321.0