With a title like Farmer Buckley’s Exploding Trousers (& other odd events on the way to scientific discovery), how could you resist picking up this book? Better yet, through a series of essays, often surprising, often amusing and always interesting, this book explores the lesser-known stories of scientific discovery, missteps…. and failure.

“If you want to make it into the history books as a hero of medical science, you can’t beat a bit of experimentation — on yourself, that is.”

page 5

Created from essays originally published in New Scientist and edited together into a collection by Stephanie Pain, these stories cover the untold tales in nearly every scientific discipline.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Scientists have often been labeled as geeky (a label many of them don’t particularly mind), but besides the obvious connection, the quirkiness of the stories and the people in them seem to have a certain geekiness all their own.

Rating (4 stars)

I admit it, I picked this one up because of the title.

It’s always hard rating collections of essays or short stories. The work of many different writers makes up this volume and while some essays are five-star gems, others I just skimmed… bored.

On the whole, I rate this collection 4-stars because they almost crammed too many stories into one volume. The typeface in my copy was tiny and reading it straight through, I almost became burnt out.  It is definitely meant to be sampled, not devoured.