Boyle - Hunter, Michael - Yale University Press



Between God and Science

  • Michael Hunter
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Selected as one of the Top 10 Books of the Year, Seed Magazine

Shortlisted for the 2009 History of Science's Pfizer Prize for Outstanding Book

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 in the the History of Science & Technology category

Winner of the 2011 Roy G. Neville Prize sponsored by Chemical Heritage Foundation

Winner of the 2011 Samuel Pepys Award (UK Award)

Robert Boyle ranks with Newton and Einstein as one of the world’s most important scientists. Aristocrat and natural philosopher, he was a remarkably wide-ranging and penetrating thinker—pioneering the modern experimental method, championing a novel mechanical view of nature, and reflecting deeply on philosophical and theological issues related to science. But, as Michael Hunter shows, Boyle was also a complex and contradictory personality, fascinated by alchemy and magic and privately plagued with doubts about faith and conscience, which troubled the rational vision he heralded.

This extraordinary work is the first biography of Boyle in a generation, and the culminating achievement of a world-renowned expert on the scientist. Deftly navigating Boyle’s voluminous published works as well as his personal letters and papers, Hunter’s complete and intimate account gives us the man rather than myth, the troubled introvert as well as the public campaigner. Lively, perceptive, and full of original insights, this is the definitive account of a remarkable man and the changing world in which he lived.

A renowned world expert on Robert Boyle, Michael Hunter is professor of history, Birkbeck College, University of London.