A Short History of Nearly Everything | Study Guide

Bill Bryson

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Sources: The Guardian, Penguin Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Bill Bryson, Chapter 24 t starts with a single cell. 23 V Vanadium 21 Sc Scandium 25 Mn Manganese 24 22 Main Ideas 75 Re Rhenium Age of Earth in years, according to many scientists ~4.6B Years Bryson says humans had contact with dodo birds before causing their extinction 70 >630,000 Years since the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupted—long overdue for another eruption Miles that a beam of light travels in one second ~186,000 A Short History of Nearly Everythingby the Numbers Born in Iowa, Bryson initially worked as a journalist before becoming a full-time book author. He has written many travel books focusing on the United States, Britain, and Europe. His desire for understandable science began in elementary school and eventually led him to write A Short History of Nearly Everything. BILL BRYSONBORN 1951 Author Accessibility of Science Science is often shown as too complicated for the average person to understand—in actuality, it’s how science is presented that can make the ideas difficult to follow. Bias in the History of Science In many cases, the scientist who first conceptualized an idea is lost to history, or their idea has been appropriated—but their contributions should be recognized. Science in Everyday Life Science is integral to understanding living things, natural materials, and modern technology and is a fundamental aspect of human survival. Influences on the Author Journalism As a journalist, Bryson became interested in how to effectively communicate complex ideas to the public. Education Bryson was uninterested in science as a child because of how it was taught. Context Science Writing for the Public A Short History joins a long tradition of science writing for the general public beginning in the 17th century. Public Education Because life is so precious in the universe, human society should be considerate in its treatment of Earth and the life it sustains. Research in Different Scientific Fields Bryson provides much information about scientists working in different disciplines, especially focusing on astronomers, geologists, biological anthropologists, physicists, and chemists. Universe Scientists are unsure how the universe operates, what its age is, or what it’s made Atoms Atoms govern all of the chemical and physical reactions necessary for life. Earth The planet has as much capacity to generate and sustain life as it does to destroy it. Life Earthly life is hardy and fragile at the same time. Humans The health and survival of life on Earth depends, in large part, on how humans treat it. A Short History of Nearly Everything is a history of science, life, and just about everything else. The book tells the story of how the universe came to be, how life developed on Earth, and how scientists have begun to unravel how it all works. Bryson wrote it to inspire, educate, and entertain the general public about the sciences. Science for the People OVERVIEW English Original Language 2003 Year Published Bill Bryson Author A Short History of Nearly Everything Science Nonfiction

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