Newton's Tyranny: The Suppressed Scientific Discoveries of Stephen Gray and John Flamsteed

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Henry Holt and Company, Nov 15, 2001 - Science - 188 pages
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One of the great figures in history, Sir Isaac Newton personifies the triumph of scientific reason over ignorance. Yet for all his contributions to the Enlightenment, Newton was a deeply complex man who sometimes aggressively tried to obscure the intellectual achievements of others of others.

Newton's Tyranny is the story of two men who felt the full wrath of the great man's hostility-the Reverend John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, and Stephen Gray, a humble dyer and amateur scientist. United not only by a love of science, but by a bitter and protracted conflict with Newton, the two men made significant contributions to science despite the observational astronomy and navigation.

Drawing upon letters and historical documents, Newton's Tyranny vividly recreates the British scientific community of the early 18th century. It was an era of great achievement, but the crucible of science was often heated by Machiavellian intrigue, uncontrollable ambition, and larger-than-life personalities. Against this dramatic setting, the saga of Newton, Flamsteed and Gray unfolds, a story of loyalty and commitment against great odds.

A fascinating look at a forgotten piece of science history, Newton's Tyranny exposes the dark side of flawed genius while celebrating the ultimate triumph of two unsung heroes.

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References to this book

Isaac Newton
Gale E. Christianson
Limited preview - 2005

About the author (2001)

Dr. David Clark is Director of Engineering and Science at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Until 1985 he led the Space Astronomy research team at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, England. Clark is the author of The Cosmos from Space and the co-author, with his son Andrew, of Aliens. He lives in Oxford England.

Stephen P.H. Clark is the son of David Clark and a postgraduate student at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University.

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