Blinded Me with Science

Two gripping tales about daring men who went to extremes in the pursuit of nature's secrets

Observe the following paradox: science is boring, but scientists are not. People who nod off at the mere thought of a Bunsen burner line up to see eggheads in movies (A Beautiful Mind) and plays (Proof). What's going on here? Maybe there's something mesmerizing about watching mere mortals groping toward the secrets of the gods, fluttering near heaven only to crash and burn like Icarus. Or maybe there's just something funny about watching dorks get ditched at the prom.

Both theories apply to Jenny Uglow's The Lunar Men. The title refers to the Lunar Society, a boisterous band of amateur...

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