Alembic Blog

Networks of Science: Charles Darwin, Leonard Jenyns & Hewett Cottrell Watson

Happy birthday to Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution by natural selection is central to our understanding of life on Earth. To celebrate, we thought it might be interesting to look at two books by scientists whose lives and work were interwoven with his, and who, along with hundreds of other researchers and observers, contributed to the development of his great theory.

The first is Leonard Jenyns (1800-1893), who was considered a “patriarch of natural history studies in Great Britain” (ODNB), and who made a decision that would dramatically change the course of Darwin's career.


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"Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!" The Birth of a Classic.

New in stock this week is a superb first edition of one of the most popular scientific memoirs of the 20th century, Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!. It was this volume of humorous short stories, depicting Feynman as an outsider and prankster, that cemented his popularity. But it's a book that almost wasn't written, and the story of its publication is as fascinating as the ones within its covers.

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What's an Alembic? Alchemy, the History of Science, & Our Logo

One of the most exciting parts of starting a business is choosing your name, and as a science specialist I wanted one that would be evocative of the history of science, as well as broader concepts of discovery and knowledge. For a long time I’ve been interested in alchemy and its evolving place in the history of science, so an alchemical symbol seemed apt. And what better than the apparatus at the centre of so much alchemical, medical, and scientific work - the alembic?

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The First Full Biography of Isaac Newton

This beautiful little volume, published in 1831, is the first full biography of the great Isaac Newton, written by David Brewster, a fellow scientist who would eventually uncover Newton's deep interest in alchemy and his unorthodox religious views.

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