Anita Croy, Stephen Hawking: Scientists Who Changed the World, EK Books, August 2021, 64 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925820720
This is the fourth book in a series. It is handsomely produced, with detailed photographs and diagrams on every page, and a clear text laid out in detailed paragraphs that describe Stephen Hawking’s life, his character, his famous illness, then the scientific ideas, debates and achievements leading up to his contributions to knowledge about the origins of the universe, its size, and its possible fate.
At no point does this account of science become too technical or dry for the interested reader. It is in fact an excellent overview and an excellent starting-point for any young person thinking of becoming a research scientist, or just curious about what a research scientist might do. Of course, Stephen Hawking was exceptional, and his life something of a spectacle, so there is all the way through a fascination with what he was like, how he thought, who influenced him, and what he imagined. Even his biggest scientific mistakes are explained here.
Such a book is also an example of how much more engaging a well-designed physical book can be than any number of less well prepared web sites. Recommended for brainiacs and curious tourers from ten to twenty.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy