(Gould, Stephen Jay) Wilford, John Noble | The Riddle of the Dinosaur
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the half title, “To Stephen Jay Gould, Many thanks for the inspiration of your essays. Best wishes, John Noble Wilford”.
A lovely copy of this popular account of recent developments in dinosaur palaeontology, including the discoveries that they were likely warm-blooded and that a comet probably caused their extinction, by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist John Noble Wilford (1933 - ). Wilford was responsible for the paper’s front-page story on the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, and his by-line was the only one that appeared on the front page that day. Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, described one of the sentences in the Moon landing piece – describing Armstrong’ heart-rate during the descent to the surface – as “one of the most elegant little uses of data I can recall seeing in a news article” (Dubner, “When Data Tell the Story”, Freakonomics blog, July 21, 2009).
Recipient Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His theory of punctuated equilibria challenged the idea that evolution is a slow and constant accumulation of changes, pointing out that instead it often occurs in rapid bursts of speciation followed by periods of stasis. He was a prominent defender of teaching evolution in schools and a leading critic of the field of sociobiology, which he saw as providing a pseudoscientific basis for discrimination. But he was best known as a popular science writer, penning three hundred essays that were originally published in Natural History Magazine. In 1991 Wilford reviewed Gould’s fifth essay collection, Bully for Brontosaurus, calling its contents “provocative and delightfully discursive”.
...Drawings by Douglas Henderson. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.
Quarto. Original grey boards, cream cloth backstrip, titles to spine and author’s name to upper board in gilt and copper. With the dust jacket. 6 colour plates, illustrations and charts within the text. An excellent copy in the jacket with just a couple of miniscule rubbed spots and faint toning along the upper edges.
(Landsberg, Peter) Hawking, Stephen W. | A Brief History of Time
First edition, the corrected second printing of this landmark popular work on the quest for the Grand Unified Theory. From the library of physicist Peter Landsberg, with his ownership signature, notes and highlighting, and letter to him loosely inserted.
Peter Landsberg (1922-2010), was a German Jewish refugee to Britain who earned his PhD in quantum mechanics at Imperial College London in 1949 and joined the faculties of the Universities of Cardiff and Southampton. “Landsberg was not solely interested in one branch of physics, he was interested in physics in general and this boyish enthusiasm took his research to all areas of theoretical work”, among them the quantum phenomenon known as bose condensation, the relationship between quantum mechanics and living things, thermodynamics, cosmology, and applications of solar energy. He is best known for his explication of “Landsberg efficiency”, the theoretical limits on how much solar power can be converted to electricity in a given situation (obituary in The Scotsman, May 23, 2010).
Landsberg has made numerous short notes — often page number references — and underlined a number of passages, primarily in chapters 8: The Origin and Fate of the Universe and 9: The Arrow of Time, that deal with thermodynamics and the inflationary model of the universe. Loosely inserted is a typed letter signed to Landsberg from Canon Robert Winnett (1910-1989), to whom the book had been loaned, and who writes that it conveyed to him “a sense of the infinite mystery of the universe, and of unplumbed depths still to be explored, an attitude which is surely akin to the religious”. He goes on the discuss how scientific ideas about the origin of the universe might align with Christianity and other religions, ending with the thought that “we are dealing with probabilities rather than certainties... The origins of religion lie in dimensions of human experience other than the scientific, and any cosmological theory can be interpreted theistically, or if we will, atheistically”.
...From the Big Bang to Black Holes. Introduction by Carl Sagan. Illustrations by Ron Miller. New York: Bantam Books, 1988.
Octavo. Original black quarter cloth, dark grey boards, title to spine in silver, Hawking’s monogram to upper board in blind. With the dust jacket. Illustrations throughout the text. Binding a little rubbed and bumped. A very good copy in the rubbed and creased jacket with some bubbling of the plastic coating, especially along folds.
(Miller, Peter L.) Longfield, Cynthia | Dragonflies of the British Isles
Second edition, enlarged, of the authoritative guide of the period. From the library of dragonfly specialist Peter L. Miller, with his ownership signature and bookplate, two manuscript notes in ink in the text, notes and sketches of dragonfly nymphs on a blank postcard, and a dragonfly wing loosely inserted.
Miller was a lecturer in zoology at Oxford who made significant contributions to a number of fields. “At Oxford he soon became widely respected for the excellence of his research on insects, being awarded the prestigious Medal of the Zoological Society of London in 1972. Until the early 1980s he explored physiology and neural control, primarily of respiration but also of rhythmic and motor behaviour, ventilation and learning. His international standing at that time is reflected in the authorship of more than a dozen chapters on these topics in different definitive textbooks on insect physiology. During those years he also published on insect behaviour in the field and edited two symposium volumes on cell biology.
From the early 1980s Miller focused his research on dragonflies, a group of insects for which he had developed a strong affection while in Uganda. His highly developed skills - for interpreting subtle elements of behaviour, for micro-anatomical dissection and for quantifying neural processes - allowed him to reveal much of the structural and behavioural framework on which dragonfly reproduction is based. This work has far-reaching comparative value and provides a definitive reference point for future contributions to the field.
Other products of his interest in dragonflies have been his stimulation and training of postgraduate students, authorship of two editions of a book on British dragonflies - a model of its genre - and active participation in the British Dragonfly Society, as Vice President and as member of the Dragonfly Conservation Group. Increasingly in later years Miller's energies were directed towards conservation of dragonflies and their habitats, especially through facilitating involvement of young people and non-specialists.” (Peter Miller obituary, the Independent, May 6, 1996.)
In this copy Miller has made two notes in the text: On page 126, under the entry for the Downy Emerald, he wrote, “2 emerged c. 25/5/58 from [?] F. B. A. Windermere”. On page 139, under the entry for the Black-lined Orthetrum, “Nymph from F. B. A. Windermere... emerged c. 25/5/58”. The most extensive notes are on a blank postcard loosely inserted at page 181. Ink manuscript notes describe the larva (nymphs) of four dragonfly species, with pencilled drawings of three. On the back of the card are additional notes about the effect of temperature on dragonfly development, including a small bar graph showing a two-year larval cycle for a species.
The author of this guide, Cynthia Longfield (1896-1989?), was one of Britain’s leading dragonfly specialist. She spent her career as an unpaid worker at the British Museum of Natural History, where she played a major role in collecting and systemising the records of British dragonflies (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 802), and she also served as president of the London Natural History Society. The Dragonflies of the the British Isles, originally published in 1939, was “accepted immediately as the authoritative guide” (Ogilvie).
London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., 1949.
Duodecimo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board and dragonfly device in gilt to upper board, publisher’s name and borders to boards blocked in black, pictorial endpapers. With the dust jacket with dragonfly illustration pasted-on to the front. 16 colour plates, 12 double-sided black & white photographic plates, illustrations within the text. Ownership signature of Peter L. Miller to the front free endpaper, some short notes in his hand in the text, and his and his wife’s bookplate to the verso of the same. Spine rolled, cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities, a little spotting to contents, particularly the edges of the text block. A very good copy in the rubbed, spotted, and dulled jacket with small nicks and chips from the ends of the spine panel.
(Zallinger, Rudolph) Ostrom, John H. & Theodore Delevoryas | A Guide to the Rudolph Zallinger Mural The Age of Reptiles
Reissue of this illustrated visitor’s guide to the magisterial Age of Reptiles mural in the Great Hall of Yale’s Peabody Museum, written by John Ostrom, one of the most important palaeontologists of the 20th century. Originally published in 1966 in the same pamphlet form. A beautiful copy in unusually nice condition.
“The Age of Reptiles mural is an artistic masterpiece and was, for its time, perhaps the most scientifically accurate representation of the Mesozoic world ever created” (Black, “Creating the Age of Reptiles”, Smithsonian Magazine, January 3, 2012). The 110-foot-long, 16-foot-high mural was completed between 1943 and 1947 by art student Rudolph Zallinger (1919-1995), who had previously been employed at the museum painting seaweed specimens. Museum director Albert Parr had initially envisioned the space broken into panels illustrating individual species, but Zallinger developed the idea for a “sweep through time” from the Devonian period to the Cretaceous, “more than three million years of earth history” (introduction to the present).
“With the format established, Zallinger was rapidly schooled in vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany and anatomy by the museum’s experts. The animals had to be scientifically accurate, their environments appropriately stocked with plants from the right era, and the whole fossil cast had to fit together in an aesthetically pleasing style. Accuracy was of extreme importance, but so was making the painting visually appealing to visitors... The artist also faced the technical decision of how to execute the mural. Zallinger decided on a fresco secco, a classic method in which pigments are combined with egg and water and are painted on dried plaster that is moistened at the time of application. As Zallinger composed each successive rendition of the mural, the space he was going to paint on was prepared and covered in plaster. What is remarkable is how early Zallinger arrived at what became the final layout for his Mesozoic panorama. While the fine details of the plants and animals changed with each ever-more-detailed version, their general shapes and poses were established by the time Zallinger created a 1943 ‘cartoon’ version of the mural on rag paper” (Black).
The mural is one of the largest paintings in the world, and earned its creator a Pulitzer Fellowship in Art in 1949. It was highly influential in both paleontological art and in popular culture during the mid-century. A number of guides to the mural have been published over the years, including this one by John H. Ostrom (1928 - 2005). Ostrom was a Yale professor, director of the Peabody Museum, and “the most influential palaeontologist of the second half of the 20th century” (Dodson & Gingerich, “John H. Ostrom”, American Journal of Science, volume 306, number 1, January 2006). He discovered that dinosaurs had the metabolisms and agility of mammals and birds, and that they were closely related to modern birds, leading to the “dinosaur renaissance” of the second half of the century.
...in the Peabody Museum, Yale University. Discovery Supplement Number 1. New Haven, CT: Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 1966.
38-page pamphlet, wire-stitched. Original green wrappers printed in black. Folding plate depicting the mural and “Earth Clock”. Pencilled number to the edge of the upper wrapper. A fine copy.
Aikin, John | The Calendar of Nature
Third edition of this charming little book on the changing of the seasons from month to month by the “physician and man of letters” John Aiken (1747-1822) (Hahn, The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature).
Aiken charming combines practical knowledge of nature and gardening with literary references. For April he writes: “This month gives the most perfect image of Spring; for its vicissitudes of warm gleams of sunshine, and gentle showers, have the most wonderful effects in hastening that universal springing of the vegetable tribes, from whence the season derives its appellation. April generally begins with raw unpleasant weather, the influence of the equinoctial storms still in some degree prevailing, Its opening is thus described in a poem of Mr. Warton’s: ‘Mindful of disaster past, And thinking of the northern blast, The fleety storm returning still, The morning hoar; the evening chill; Reluctant comes the timid Spring...’ Early in the month, that welcome guest and harbinger of Summer, the swallow, returns. The kind first seen, is the chimney, or house, swallow, known by its long forked tail, and red breast. At first, here and there, only one appears, glancing quick by us, as if scarcely able to endure the cold. ‘The swallow for a moment seen, Skims in haste the village green’.”
A very nice copy in an attractive contemporary tree calf binding. With the ownership inscription and notes of a woman, Eliza Davenport, who obtained this copy in 1810. Davenport’s short pencilled notes at the rear of the volume relate to a handful of observations of flowering plants and other phenomena.
...Designed for the Instruction and Entertainment of Young Persons. The Third Edition. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.
Duodecimo (155 x 95mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers. 1810 ownership inscription to the verso of the front free endpaper, pencilled notes of a similar date to the verso of the rear blank. Binding lightly rubbed at the extremities, the corner of B6 torn, not affecting the text, light spotting to the contents. Very good condition.
Augusta, Joseph, Greta Hort, & Zdeněk Burian | Prehistoric Animals
First English language edition, first impression of this vibrantly illustrated work, originally published in Prague under the title Tiere der Urzeit in the same year. Rare in the dust jacket in such nice condition.
Between the 1930s and 1960s “the foremost painter of dinosaur restorations was Zdeněk Burian (1905-1981). His canvasses were used to illustrate a number of popular books on prehistoric life by Joseph Augusta, and in the late 1950s and 1960s these were translated into English and widely circulated. So the Burian illustrations offered an alternative to those of Zallinger [responsible for the Peabody Museum mural], or of the late Charles Knight. But there was not much of a difference. Apatosaurus and Diplodocus stand quietly by their respective swamps, accompanied by partially submerged relatives. A T. rex besets a pair of Trachodon, but none of the three lifts a leg off the ground, or even seems to be moving at all” (Ashworth, Paper Dinosaurs 48). Though his dinosaurs are no longer considered anatomically accurate, Burian was highly respected in his time and his paintings were widely reproduced and copied, often without acknowledgement. In 2017 the first dinosaur discovered in the Czech Republic was named in his and Augusta’s honour, Burianosaurus augustai.
The author of the text, Joseph Augusta (1903-1968) was a palaeontologist at Charles University in Prague between 1933 and 1968, and is best known for his role as a science populariser. He published around twenty books on science for the general public and served as an advisor to the hit 1955 film Journey to the Beginning of Time (Cesta do Pravěku), which combined human actors with stop-motion special effects.
The translator of the book, Greta Hort (1903-1967), was born in Copenhagen, the daughter of Vilhelm Hjort, astronomer royal. She earned her PhD at Newnham College, Cambridge and then became a research fellow at Girton College, publishing on mysticism and religious thought. In 1938 Hort was appointed principal of University Women's College (later University College) at the University of Melbourne. She was later made chair of English literature at Aarhus University, Denmark (Australian Dictionary of Biography).
...Illustrated under the direction of the author by Zdeněk Burian. Translated by Dr. Greta Hort. London: Spring Books, .
Folio. Original buff, heavy-grain cloth, titles to spine and Stegosaurus design to upper board in brown. With the dust jacket. 60 lithographic plates of which 31 are in colour. Lower corner of the binding knocked, which has also slightly creased the corner of the text block and the jacket, spine rolled. A very good copy in the bright jacket that is lightly rubbed at the extremities with a few nicks and short closed splits.
Baikie, James | Through the Telescope
First edition. A handsomely bound prize copy awarded in 1914 by the Merchant Taylor’s School in Crosby, Liverpool. The well-illustrated text covers the history and use of the telescope, the sun and each planet in the solar system, comets and meteors, the stars, and star clusters and galaxies.
Author James Baikie (1866-1931) was a Scottish minister and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Through the Telescope was his first book, and he followed it up with several popular works on ancient Egypt.
...With 32 Full-Page Illustrations from Photographs and 26 Smaller Figures in the Text. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1906.
Octavo (202 x 132 mm). Contemporary school prize binding of blue calf by Rowell of Liverpool. Spine elaborately gilt in compartments, brown morocco label, double gilt fillets and decorative roll in blind, school crest roundel to the upper board in gilt, blind roll to turn-ins, marbled endpapers and edges. Frontispiece and 31 plates from photographs, engravings within the text. Prize bookplate. A little scuffing and some small marks to the binding. Excellent condition.
Baxter, James Finney | Scientists Against Time
First edition, first printing of the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of Allied technological development during the Second World War. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Betty Way Brown, with best wishes, James P. Baxter 3rd”.
Author James F. Baxter (1893-1975) was a historian and for more than twenty years the popular president of Williams College in Massachusetts. During the Second World War he served as research coordinator of information (1941-1943) and director of the Office of Strategic Services (1942-1943), and the work for this book was undertaken during the latter part of the war while he served as the historical researcher for the Office of Scientific Research and Development. It includes chapters on submarine and air warfare, radar and LORAN, rocketry, proximity fuses, fire control technologies, new explosives and propellants, antimalarials, blood transfusion, penicillin, aviation medicine, and the Manhattan Project, among others.
...With Illustrations. An Atlantic Monthly Press Book. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1946.
Octavo. Original grey cloth, titles and design to spine and upper board blocked in red and blue, top edge dyed red. Frontispiece and 33 double-sided plates from photographs, 3 illustrations within the text. Spine toned, cloth slightly rubbed, endpapers tanned, light spotting to the edges of the text block and occasionally to the contents.
Cadbury, Deborah | The Dinosaur Hunters
First edition, first impression of this well-received popular history of the discovery and scientific documentation of dinosaur fossils in Britain during the early 19th century, notable for its emphasis on the work of Mary Anning in addition to that of Gideon Mantell, William Buckland, and Richard Owen. Though Anning’s work as a fossil collector has been well-known to specialists and historians since the Victorian Era, this volume was an early part of the revival of popular interest in her life which began in 1999 at the 200th anniversary of her birth, and which has continued in recent years with novels and films, as well as an initiative to place a statue of her in Lyme Regis.
...A Story of Scientific Rivalry and the Discovery of the Prehistoric World. London: Fourth Estate, 2000.
Octavo. Original brown boards, titles to spine gilt, green endpapers. With the dust jacket. Illustrations throughout the text. Very slight indentation at the head of spine and shallow bump tot edge of the upper board, light spotting to the top edge of the text block. An excellent copy with the jacket, of which the lower edges of the inner flaps are slightly curled from being in a jacket protector.
Chapman, C. H. Murray | Dragons at Home
First and only edition of this rare children’s book describing a fanciful tour through prehistory led by talking dinosaurs. A lovely copy in the scarce jacket. WorldCat locates only eleven institutional copies, and none appear in recent auction records.
Dragons at Home was published posthumously following the death of author C. H. Murray Chapman (1892-1918), who studied geology at the University of Manchester. “His fascination with geology and astronomy was a constant source of inspiration to him and he contributed to several journals and wrote a book on pre-historic animals which he hoped to publish. Unfortunately, he struggled academically and left Manchester University in 1912.” (University of Manchester Roll of Honour biography). Chapman enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1914 and was commissioned to the Royal Naval Air Service for pilot training in 1915. He endured with good humour a series of accidents, including one that broke his jaw, and apparently “relished the opportunity it gave to write vivid accounts of the sensations of crashing to earth”. Chapman died in February 1918 when his plane was involved in a mid-air collision during an escort flight. His wife, Olive Murray Chapman, later became a well-known adventurer and author, and it was she was was responsible for the publication of Dragons at Home.
The plot of the book follows four English children who, in a nod to Peter Pan, are spirited away to prehistoric times by a friendly Pterodactyl named Ptero who “casually picks up with them at the Natural History Museum” (preface). The tour begins in the Jurassic, where they meet a Stegosaurus and are introduced to him as “four young animals from the Holocene”. A series of gentle adventures follow, in which the group traverse the geological ages and speak with creatures such as a Diplodocus, Brontosaurus, Archaeopteryx, Triceratops, Iguanadons, and Plesiosaurs, and eventually find themselves in the Eocene, where they encounter early mammals – the Mastodon and Deinotherium – followed by the Ice Age mammoth and Irish deer.
Though much of the text is taken up with dialogue, Chapman’s prose is witty and engaging, and it’s clear that he had a talent for describing nature. He writes of Ptero presenting “a lizardy grin. It was funny to see him smile. His grin seemed to meet at the back of his head, and all his sharp teeth showed white” and describes the Pterodactyl’s skin as “so funny... like a piece of warm, shrivelled-up gutta-percha, very light and squashy”. Later, formations in a cave are likened to “upset ice-creams” and the waves of a calm sea “crept onto the shore, and tumbled over each other with a faint murmur, as if they did not dare break the stillness of this hot day”.
...Illustrated by the Author. London: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. Ltd., .
Octavo. Original blue cloth blocked in orange with the image of a triceratops on the spine and a stegosaurus on the upper board, publisher’s device in blind on the lower board. With the dust jacket replicating the design on the binding. Frontispiece and 12 engravings within the text, 1 plate from a photograph of the author. Gift inscription dated Christmas 1924 to the front free endpaper. Spine rolled, just a little rubbing at the extremities but otherwise the cloth fresh and bright, small spot of dampstain and minor abrasion to the top edge of the text block, endpapers partially tanned, light spotting to contents and edges of text block. A very good copy in the rubbed and lightly spotted jacket with a short split and streak of dampstain to the lower panel and slight loss at the corners.
Cole, Dandridge M. & Roy Scarfo | Beyond Tomorrow. The Next Fifty Years in Space.
First edition, first printing of this uncommon classic written and illustrated by two of the most influential futurists of the mid-20th century.
Dandridge M. Cole (1921-1965) was an engineer with the Martin Company, where he worked on the design of the Titan II rocket, and then moved to General Electric’s Missile and Space Division. Cole was particularly interested in developing futurism as a serious academic field embraced by both civilian and government bodies. He developed ideas about colonising and exploiting asteroids, coining the term macrolife to describe human colonies in space. He also warned about nuclear proliferation and population growth, suggesting that humanity was at a turning point in its development.
The present volume explores the breadth of predications about humanity’s future in space, including colonising other bodies in the solar system, closed-cycle communities, terraforming, biological and evolutionary changes in humans in space, and the religious and moral implications of leaving Earth.
The fabulous illustrations are by Roy Scarfo, who, more than any other single artist, was responsible for the “look” of the Space Age. Scarfo was creative director at GE’s Space Technology Centre and worked as a consultant for NASA and other agencies. He collaborated with numerous science fiction authors and futurists, including Isaac Asimov, and his illustrations appeared in more than forty books and countless newspaper and magazine articles.
...With Space Art Originated by Roy G. Scarfo. Amherst, WI: Amherst Press, 1965.
Quarto. Original mottled brown cloth, titles to spine and upper board in metallic green. With the dust jacket. Colour and black and white illustrations throughout. Ownership ink stamp of Marvin M. Foote dated 1974. Dust jacket adheared to the spine in a couple of spots, metallic titles degrading a little, contents clean. A very good copy in the rubbed and nicked jacket with some short closed tears and dampstain affecting the upper panel.
Duncan, P. Martin | Natural History Rambles. The Sea-Shore.
A very handsome copy of this popular work that was first published in 1879. It describes and illustrates a wide variety of seashore creatures, including plants, microorganisms, jellyfish and hydrozoans, anemones, corals, worms, starfish, crabs, shellfish, birds, and bony fish.
Author Peter Martin Duncan (1824-1891) practised as a medical doctor, pursuing science as a hobby, until his appointment to a professorship in geology at King’s College. His speciality was “the corals and echinids, although he also took much interest in ophiurids, sponges, and protozoa. He adopted the viewpoint of a philosophical zoologist for this research, but also investigated the relationship between species distribution and palaeoenvironments. He described fossil coral fauna from different parts of the world and the echinids of Sind” and contributed two important papers on them (ODNB).
“Duncan's industry was unflagging. He undertook a great amount of work, of both a popular and a scientific character. He was editor of Cassell's Natural History (1876–82), to which he contributed several important articles. He wrote a Primer of Physical Geography (1882); a small volume of biographies of botanists, geologists, and zoologists entitled Heroes of Science (1882); another on The Seashore (1879); and an Abstract of the Geology of India (1875), which reached a third edition in 1881. He also assisted in preparing the third edition of Griffith and Henfrey's Micrographic Dictionary (1875), and in revising the fourth edition of Lyell's Student's Elements of Geology (1885)” in addition to authoring at least a hundred academic papers (ODNB). Duncan was a member of the Geological Society and was awarded its Wollaston Medal in 1881. He was also a Fellow of the Royal, Linnean, and Zoological Societies.
This copy was awarded as a prize for achievement in drawing at the York High School for Girls in 1895. The York high school was opened by the Girls Public Day School Company in November 1880 and operated until 1907.
London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1891.
Octavo (163 x 101 mm). Contemporary school prize binding of burgundy calf by Bickers & Son, spine elaborately gilt in compartments, double gilt fillets and school roundel to the upper board gilt, marbled endpapers and edges, turn-ins blocked in blind. Steel engravings throughout. Prize bookplate. Spine a little faded, edges and ends of spine just a little rubbed, spotting to the endpapers and lighter spotting to the title and final leaf of text. Excellent condition.
Emiliani, Cesare | Ancient Temperatures
- Offprint of an early popular article on ancient climate by one of the founders of the field, Cesare Emiliani (1922-1995).
During the late 1950s Emiliani studied the tests (shells) of marine amoebas called foraminifera that are found in samples taken from the floors of the deep oceans. He realised that the oxygen isotope composition of the tests was influenced by atmospheric conditions at the time they were alive and that the deep-sea cores could be used to chart climate going back millions of years. This work laid the foundations for modern analysis of past climates. It also established that the ice ages were a cyclic phenomena; contributed to our understanding ocean floor spreading and plate tectonics; and provided influential support for the hypothesis of Milutin Milanković that climate changes in the deep past had been driven by long-term alterations in the Earth’s orbit and geology. Emiliani remained a leading figure in the study of Earth’s climate history through the 1990s, and was awarded both the Vega Medal and the Alexander Aggasiz Medal.
...Reprinted from Scientific American, February 1958. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1958.
12 page pamphlet, stapled. Illustrations throughout. Very faintly toned at the extreme edges of the spine and wrappers. A superb copy.
Farlow, James O. & M. K. Brett-Surman, editors | The Complete Dinosaur
First edition, first printing. A beautiful copy of one of the most scholarly and best-selling of the dinosaur encyclopedias published during the "dinomania" of the 1990s.
The Complete Dinosaur, copiously illustrated and accessible to both professional and popular audiences, contains forty-three essays by leading geologists and palaeontologists on dinosaur physiology, behaviour, and evolution; the history of palaeontology around the world; and the appearance of dinosaurs in popular culture. The Quarterly Review of Biology described it as “the most readable and interesting book on many aspects of dinosaurs that I know” in which “even the dinosaurian veteran will find novel insights and perspectives”. They cite in particular the chapters on the history of dinosaur studies as “the most comprehensive and historiographically integrated treatment of the subject to date” as well as “Mary Higby Schweitzer’s thoughtful and rational review on how we study the biomolecular resides in fossil organisms, the ‘dialogue’ on dinosaur extinction between a gradualist (Peter Dodson) and a catastrophist (Dale A. Russell), and R. E. H. Reid’s powerful and comprehensive treatment of dinosaurian physiology” (The Quarterly Review of Biology vol. 73, no. 4, December 1998).
Still in print, a second, revised and expanded, edition was published to much acclaim in 2012.
Bloomington & Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997.
Tall quarto. Original grey cloth, titles to spine and T-rex design to upper board in black, yellow endpapers embossed with patterns of dinosaur scales. With the dust jacket. 8 double-sided colour plates, greyscale illustrations throughout the text. Just a single tiny crease at the edge of the dust jacket. An exceptional copy.
Feynman, Richard | "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!"
First edition, first printing and a beautiful copy in excellent condition. The orange dust jackets and boards of this book are notoriously prone to fading, but this one is remarkably bright and attractive.
Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman is one of the most popular scientific memoirs of all time. In a series of humorous short stories the famous physicist describes his childhood and developing interest in science, his college education and time on the Manhattan Project, and his career at Cornell and Caltech. Among the memorable episodes are Feynman's description of an anatomical chart as a "map of the cat", his safe cracking escapades at Los Alamos, the tragic death of his first wife, and his exasperated reaction to winning the Nobel Prize. More troublingly, Feynman writes about sexist behaviours such as adopting the behaviours of an aggressive pick-up artist, and using strip clubs as informal offices.
- Adventures of a Curious Character, as told to Ralph Leighton. Edited by Edward Hutchings. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1985. Octavo. Original red cloth backed boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. Spine slightly cracked between the front free endpaper and the half title. An excellent copy in the bright jacket with just a few minor nicks at the top edges.
Fuller, R. Buckminster | Nine Chains to the Moon
First edition, first printing of the author’s first book. Presentation copy with a warm and lengthy inscription from the author to fellow architect Robert George Cerny (1908-1985), dated November 22, 1959. Fuller begins, “To Bob Cerny, with whom it has been my privilege and pleasure to work on the emergent....”. Unfortunately, the combination of Fuller’s messy handwriting and unique vocabulary and syntax make it difficult to grasp the full meaning of the inscription, and it’s unclear how the two knew each other.
Nine Chains to the Moon is a collection of forty-four essays on various topics in the history of science and technology, many of them exploring progressive design and the concept Fuller called “ephemeralization”, or doing more with less, which he believed would create higher living standards despite population growth. The title, a metaphor for co-operation, refers to the notion that if all the humans on Earth stood on each other’s shoulders, they could reach the Moon. The book has been described by one fan as “an outlandish collection of essays in feverish celebration of the technical and design possibilities of the twentieth century” (Taylor, http://www.nous.org.uk/Nine.html, accessed August 4, 2020). Fuller’s elaborate writing style (also in evidence in the inscription in this volume) put off most critics, with the Kirkus reviewer left “puzzled, confused and doubting” by the “vast areas where I cannot follow him, where mathematical and physical abstractions leave me floundering, where meaning is lost -- for me -- in a thicket of verbiage”.
The recipient of this copy, Bob Cerny, was a modernist architect based in Minneapolis and St. Paul. he graduated from the University of of Minnesota School of Architecture in 1932. “The school’s architectural program, like others across the country, had fallen under the sway of Modernist ideas in the 1930s. The austere Bauhaus strain of Modernism rather than Wright’s more dynamic style prevailed, and once graduates established practices in Minnesota after the war, they filled the state with all manner of Modernist buildings. These homegrown architects—among them Carl Graffunder, Robert Cerny, Jack Liebenberg, and the firm (now HGA) founded by Richard Hammel, Curt Green, and Bruce Abrahamson—rarely achieved national recognition. Even so, their work, usually quite restrained, was of consistently high quality” (Millett, “Minnesota Design”, Metropolis, March 1, 2018). Among Cerny’s most prominent designs was the 1950s Gateway Center in Minneapolis, one of the largest mid-century “urban renewal” projects.
Philadelphia & New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1938.
Octavo. Original copper cloth, titles to spine and upper board in black, map free endpapers. Illustrations within the text, folding chart at rear. Cloth rubbed, bumped, and scuffed with some spots and marks particularly to the lower panel, rodent damage to the lower edge and gutter of the rear endpapers and folding chart, and the same along the bottom edges of the final 25 leaves of contents, lighting toning of the contents. A very good copy.
Gifford, Isabella | The Marine Botanist; an Introduction to the Study of the British Sea-Weeds
Third edition of this nicely illustrated work, an unusually attractive copy.
Gifford “lived much of her life in Falmouth and then in Minehead, Somerset. She wrote a book on marine botanists in 1848 and contributed plants, primarily specimens of seaweed, to the Somerset Archaeological Society. Sensitive to the conribution of other women botanists, she memorialised Elizabeth Warren in 1865 for her zealous and careful collections. She corresponded with the Glasgow professor of botany G. A. Walker Arnott and her letters are included in his correspondence in the British Museum of Natural History. One of her papers appeared in the Journal of Botany in 1871. Her plants are at the Taunton Museum. She is memorialised by the algae genus Giffordia Batt” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 501).
...Containing Descriptions of all the Species, and the Best Method of Preserving Them. Third Edition. Greatly Improved and Enlarged, with Illustrations Printed in Oil Colours by W. Dickes. Brighton & London: R. Folthorp, Longman and Co., 1853.
Octavo. Original green cloth blocked in blind with a ivy-leaf border, title to spine gilt, yellow coated endpapers. Westley’s & Co. binder’s ticket to rear pastedown. Errata leaf. 8-page publisher’s catalogue at rear. Chromolithographic frontispiece and 5 plates, 6 lithographic plates. Spine a little tanned and spotted, cloth lightly rubbed at extremities with a couple of small worn spots at the ends of the spine, light spotting to the edges of the text block, occasional small spots to the plates. Very good condition.
Gould, Stephen Jay | Dinosaur in a Haystack
- First edition, first printing and a beautiful association copy inscribed by the author on the half title, “For Richard & Judy, All the best, dear old friends, Steve. Stephen Jay Gould”.
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His theory of punctuated equilibria challenged the idea that evolution is a slow and constant accumulation of changes, pointing out that instead it often occurs in rapid bursts of speciation followed by periods of stasis. He was a prominent defender of teaching of evolution in schools and a leading critic of the field of sociobiology, which he saw as providing a pseudoscientific basis for discrimination. But he was best known as a popular science writer, penning three hundred essays that were originally published in Natural History Magazine.
Dinosaur in a Haystack collects thirty-four of these essays, most notably the title piece, which discusses how rates of fossil survival influence theories of mass extinction, and “Dinomania”, his review of the film Jurassic Park and astute analysis of the explosion of interest in dinosaurs during the late 20th century. “...dinosaurs were just as big, as fierce, and as extinct forty years ago, but only a few nerdy kids, and even fewer professional palaentologists, gave a damn about them... why now and not before?”
The recipients of this volume were Richard and Judy Milner. Richard and Gould were childhood friends, and Richard eventually became a historian of science and Gould’s editor at Natural History Magazine. “In 1953, two sixth graders in Bayside, Queens, became best friends after they discovered their shared passions for Gilbert & Sullivan operas, dinosaurs, the American Museum of Natural History and Charles Darwin. In their pantheon of heroes, Darwin ranked above even Joe DiMaggio. Their classmates, of course, considered them geeks and bestowed appropriate nicknames: Fossilface and Dino. Fossilface grew up to become an evolutionary biologist better known as Stephen Jay Gould” (Tierney, “Darwin the Comedian”, The New York Times, 9 February, 2009).
- ...Reflections in Natural History. New York: Harmony Books, 1995.
Octavo. Original black quarter cloth, black boards, title to spine in red. With the dust jacket. Illustrations within the text. A fine copy in the jacket.
Hansen, James | Storms of My Grandchildren
First edition, first printing of this important popular work by leading climate scientist James Hansen (1941 - ).
Hansen, currently director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University, has been studying climate change since the 1970s, making important contributions to our understanding of the atmosphere of Venus; how the global average temperature is measured and calculated; the effects of black carbon (such as that produced by forest fires and burning coal); and the design and analysis of climate models, showing that climate change has been occurring faster than most early models predicted.
Hansen first came to public prominence when he testified to Congress in 1988 on the causes and effects of climate change, and in recent years he has been an outspoken activist, critical of ineffectual mitigation policies, and being arrested three times during 2011 demonstrations against the Keystone Pipeline. Storms of My Grandchildren explains the science of anthropogenic climate change, why it threatens humanity’s future, discusses the political issues that kept it from being adequately addressed, and proposes a way foreword for the economy and environment.
...The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. Illustrations by Makiko Sato. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. Illustrations and charts within the text. Spine a little rolled. An excellent, fresh copy in the bright jacket.
Hill, Justina | Germs and the Man
First edition, first printing, presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Inscribed for Dr. G. A. C. Colston, from his long-time associate, Justine Hill, Baltimore, Mar 26, 1940”.
This work on disease-causing microbes was described as “the best popular presentation that had yet appeared” on the subject by psychiatrist Karl Menninger (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 601). Author Justina Hill (1893-?) attended Smith College and the University of Michigan, then served as a Red Cross worker, running a bacteriological laboratory in Spartanburg, South Carolina during the final two years of the First World War. She was then transferred with a Smith College unit to the Near East, where she ran a laboratory for five thousand refugees. “Upon returning to the United States, Hill was made an associate in bacteriology at the Brady Urological Institute and two years later an instructor in urology... She published numerous technical articles in medical journals as well as popular books on bacteriology” (Ogilvie). In 1942 she published Silent Enemies, on the communicable diseases of war, and in 1944 she contributed a piece in the Atlantic: “How Bad is the Flu? The possibility of recurrent epidemics, perhaps of increasing virulence, even of another pandemic, must be faced”.
New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940.
Octavo. Original buff cloth, titles to spine and upper board blocked in green, decorative design blocked in brown, top edge dyed green. 8 double-sided plates. Light rubbing at the extremities, small bump to the edge of the lower board, small white spot to spine, slight abrasions and creasing to the edges of a few leaves, some light spotting to the plates. A very good copy.
Horner, John [Jack] R. & James Gorman | Digging Dinosaurs
First edition, first printing. A lovely copy of this important memoir of excavating Egg Mountain in Montana, one of the most productive fossil beds on earth and the location of both the first dinosaur embryos and the first nests of baby dinosaurs to be discovered.
John “Jack” Horner (1946 – ) is one of the most recognisable of contemporary palaeontologists. The recipient of numerous awards, including a McArthur Fellowship, for his work on dinosaur reproduction, development, and physiology, he was also a staple of 1980s and 90s documentaries and served as a technical advisor for the Jurassic Park films, whose main character, Dr. Alan Grant, he partially inspired. Horner has come under scrutiny in recent years for having a romantic relationship with an undergraduate volunteer in his laboratory, resulting in his early retirement.
In 1977 Marion Brandvold, the owner of a mineral shop in Bynum, Montana, discovered fossils of juvenile dinosaurs and asked Horner to identify them when he happened to stop at the shop during a scouting trip the following year. At the time, only a handful of juvenile dinosaurs were known, and their absence in the geological record was a major problem for palaeontology. Realising their significance, Horner immediately contacted his employers at Princeton (remarkably, he was then working as a preparator of other researcher’s finds, and had not yet run a dig of his own) for permission to remain in Montana and begin excavating the site. Within a few days Horner, his colleague Bob Makela, and the Brandvolds had uncovered whole nests containing young duck-billed dinosaurs – a world first. The juveniles were clearly being cared for by their parents for an extended period, much like birds, and this discovery was the first evidence of complex reproductive behaviour in dinosaurs. The site also revealed the first egg clutches in the Western hemisphere and the first dinosaur embryos found anywhere. Excavations have since revealed that the site was home to thousands of Cretaceous-period dinosaurs, with evidence of more than 15,000 individuals, making it the largest group of dinosaur skeletons on Earth and evidence that some species exhibited social and possibly migratory behaviours (”Digging for Dino Eggs with Famed Paleontologist Jack Horner”, Wired, October 28, 2011).
Published in 1988, Digging Dinosaurs was written for a popular audience and covers the first six years of excavations, including the major discoveries of nests and embryos, and includes a foreword by Sir David Attenborough as well as numerous illustrations.
...Illustrated by Donna Braginetz and Kris Ellingsen. New York: Workman Publishing, 1988.
Octavo. Original black boards, black cloth backstrip, titles to spine gilt, red endpapers. With the dust jacket. 4 double-sided plates from colour photographs, black and white illustrations throughout the text. Spine rolled. An excellent copy in the fresh dust jacket.
Jeans, James | The Universe Around Us
Second printing, in the rare and evocative Raymond McGrath-designed dust jacket.
Author James Jeans (1877-1946) was a respected Cambridge mathematician and astronomer, best known for his work on rotating, gravitational bodies, "a problem of fundamental importance that had already been tackled by some of the leading mathematicians" (ODNB), and the motions, structures, and life-cycles of stars and stellar clusters.
"In 1928 Jeans's academic work Astronomy and Cosmogony came to the attention of S. C. Roberts, the secretary of Cambridge University Press, who appreciated the general interest of its subject matter and the attraction of Jeans's writing style. He persuaded Jeans to write a popular account, The Universe Around Us, which was published by the press in 1929" (ODNB). Jeans's popularity as a writer "depended partly on his topic-new, thought provoking views of the universe-and partly on his style, which combined an authoritative knowledge of the subject with a vivid turn of phrase" (ODNB).
As Jeans describes it in the introduction, The Universe Around Us is “a brief account, written in simple language, of the methods and results of modern astronomical research, both observational and theoretical. Special attention has been given to problems of cosmology and evolution, and to the general structure of the universe.”
The dust jacket designer, Raymond McGrath (1903-1977) was a printmaker, illustrator, architect, and interior designer whose first commission was the interior of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in 1930. He later completed commissions for Imperial Airways and the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, and spent the latter part of his career as Senior and the Principal Architect at the Office of Public Works in Dublin.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1929.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 24 plates, illustrations and diagrams within the text. A few small spots to the cloth, light dampstain affecting the edge of the upper board, partial toning of the free endpapers, some faint toning of the contents. A very good copy in the rubbed, tanned, and price-clipped jacket with slight dampstain corresponding to that on the cloth, a chip from the head of the spine panel, and some smaller chips and short closed tears.
Leakey, Mary | Olduvai Gorge. My Search for Early Man
First edition, first impression and a fine copy, uncommon in such nice condition.
Mary Leakey (1913-1996) was an accomplished archaeologist and paleoanthropologist who worked primarily on early humanoid fossils in Kenya and Tanzania with her husband and scientific partner Louis Leakey. “The site that will always be associated with Mary Leakey is Olduvai Gorge, a canyon in northern Tanzania containing rich collections of fossils and artefacts spanning about the last 2 million years. This became her second home, where she enjoyed fieldwork and research, accompanied by her pack of beloved dalmatian dogs, of which she was a well-known breeder. At Olduvai on 17 July 1959 she made one of the most famous fossil discoveries of all time, the skull of a 1.8 million-year-old early human relative whom Louis named Zinjanthropus (now Australopithecus or Paranthropus) boisei. Television coverage of the find made the Leakeys household names all over the world and brought them desperately needed funding from the National Geographic Society. Mary laboured under the hot sun, meticulously recording scatters of early stone tools and fossil bones, setting new standards for archaeological fieldwork, while Louis concentrated on fund-raising and lecturing. The technical details of her work are published in volumes 3 (1971) and 5 (1994) of the Olduvai Gorge series of Cambridge University Press and a popular account is given in Olduvai Gorge: My Search for Early Man (1979)” (ODNB).
London: Collins, 1979.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 6 double-sided plates from black and white photographs, line drawings throughout the text. A fine copy in the jacket.copy.
Leffall, LaSalle D. | No Boundaries. A Cancer Surgeon's Odyssey.
First edition, first printing of the autobiography of one of the world’s leading cancer surgeons. Presentation copy inscribed by the author to columnist William Safire on the title, “To Bill Safire, with best wishes & thanks for all you do for so many at Dana and the New York Times, Lasalle D. Leffall, 9/27/06.”
LaSalle D. Leffall (1930-2019) graduated first in his class from the Howard University School of Medicine and served as a senior fellow in cancer surgery at Memorial Sloane-Kettering, which he chose because “I thought surgery was the most dynamic field” and “Memorial Sloane-Kettering was using some of the most exciting techniques” (Krapp, Notable Black American Scientists, p. 205). In 1962 he joined the faculty of Howard, rising to chair of the department of surgery only eight years later.
Leffall “focused on clinical studies of cancer of the breast, colorectum, head, and neck,” publishing more than 116 journal articles across his career. He became the first Black president of the American Cancer Society in 1978, and “used this national forum to emphasize the problems of cancer in minorities, holding the first conference on cancer among Black Americans in February 1979” (Krapp). Leffalle also served as the first Black president of the American College of Surgeons, was a visiting professor at more than 200 institutions, and received numerous awards. In 1996 Howard University established an endowed chair in surgery in his name.
Bill Safire (1929-2009) began his career as a public relations executive before joining the Nixon campaign in 1960, working as a speechwriter for both Nixon and Agnew. In 1978 he began a nearly thirty year-long career as a New York Times political columnist. Lefall’s mention of “Dana” in the inscription references the Charles A. Dana Foundation, a private charity supporting brain research, of which Safire was chief executive and chairman and Leffalle a member of the board of directors. This copy of No Boundaries was inscribed to Safire at a Dana Foundation event, “Can Immunology Help Win the War on Cancer?” at which Leffall was one of the panellists, and which was followed by a reception and signing to celebrate the book’s publication.
Washington D. C.: Howard University Press, 2005.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 8 double-sided plates from photographs. Only the lightest rubbing and a few minor creases to the jacket. A superb, fresh copy.
Magnus, Albertus (attributed) | De Secretis Mulierum
The 1643 Amsterdam edition of the “misogynist masterpiece” The Secrets of Women, an influential and widely-disseminated work of natural philosophy that laid the intellectual foundations for early modern witch persecutions (Cabre, review of Women’s Secrets in ISIS volume 85, no 3, 1994). The publisher of this edition was Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), Willem Blaeu’s main rival in map publishing, and it includes an engraved title depicting the mythological figure Callisto, in labour and appealing to the goddess Artemis.
This copy has a distinguished provenance, having been in the library of the poet and angling bibliographer Thomas Westwood (1814-1888), who added a manuscript note on Izaak Walton’s second-hand quotation of De Secretis. It was later owned by the medievalist and economic historian Louis Francis Salzmann (1878-1971), and was most recently in the library of noted barrister and bibliophile Sir George Engle (1926-2016).
Long attributed to Albertus Magnus, De Secretis was probably composed by one of his followers during the late 13th or early 14th century, and survives in around 83 manuscript copies, of which 50 were printed in the 15th century and over 70 in the 16th (Lemay, Women’s Secrets. A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’s De Secretis Mulierum with Commentaries, p. 1). Though the contents cover what we would now consider obstetrics and gynaecology, including menstruation, spermatogenesis, conception, fetal development, and infertility, the text is not a practical medical manual but a philosophical exploration of the human body and its relation to the cosmos.
As a follower of Albertus Magnus, the treatises’s author “believed that the study of nature as perceived through sense experience and then analyzed in a rational manner forms a single discipline through which we come to comprehend the universe in its corporeal aspects. Human reproduction, a main subject of this treatise, is one of these aspects, that nevertheless has repercussions for our understanding of the entire cosmos. This becomes particularly evident in the treatment given to astrological influences on the developing fetus. Pseudo-Albert begins his discussion by outlining how the sphere of the fixed stars confers upon the fetus various virtues, and moves back and forth from particular celestial effects to a general treatment of prime matter and the intelligences” (Lemay, p. 3).
De Secretis was most likely “designed to be used within a religious community as a vehicle for instructing priests in natural philosophy, particularly as it pertains to human generation... A strong subtext of the Secrets, however, is the evil nature of women and the harm they can cause to their innocent victims: young children and their male consorts. Clearly then, another purpose of this treatise is to malign the female sex, a tradition that extends back in Christianity to second-century misogynist writings” (Lemay, p. 16).
Among the concepts that the text popularised were the idea that women’s menstrual blood was poisonous, that post-menopausal women (especially those who were poor) were more “venomous” because they could no longer expel the toxins, and that women were inherently lascivious beings with a physiological need to absorb the heat and life force of men. “It is these misogynistic ideas about women’s sexuality that seeded their demonization in the years that followed, as the Secrets served as a direct source for the Malleus maleficarum. Indeed, the most famous statement from the Malleus explicitly connects witchery with ideas about women’s sexuality rooted in the medieval period: ‘All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable’” (McLemore, “Medieval Sexuality, Medical Misogyny, and the Makings of the Modern Witch”, blog of the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Studies Institute, October 30, 2020).
...Item de Virtutibus Herbarum Lapidum et Animalium. Amsterdam: Johannes Janssonius, 1643.
Duodecimo. 19th-century olive calf, spine gilt in compartments with fleur-de-lis tools, red morocco label, double gilt fillets, marbled endpapers, gilt turn-ins, green silk bookmark detached. Engraved architectural title depicting a woman in labour, decorative initials. 19th-century armorial bookplate and label of Thomas Westwood, and his manuscript note in ink to the verso of the front free endpaper, “Izaak Walton is supposed to have quoted this work at second-hand, through Topsel’s ‘History of Four-Footed Beasts & Serpents’ p. 421 (edit of 1607)”. Bookplate of L. F. Salzmann dated 1899. The covers which were previously detached have been professionally reattached with tissue at the hinges by Bainbridge Conservation. Old repairs to cracks and chips in the spine, calf rubbed and a little worn at the edges, occasional faint dampstain in the margins. Very good condition.
Mann, Michael E. | The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper, “3/24/2012, To John & Louis, thanks for all you’re doing, Michael Mann”.
This "important and disturbing account" of climate change science and politics is by leading researcher Michael Mann of Penn State’s Earth Science System Center (Kirkus Reviews).
Mann was the leader of the team that produced the 1999 “hockey stick graph” showing the dramatic rise in atmospheric temperature of the past century as compared with the previous thousand years. Mann’s work is central to the current understanding of anthropomorphic climate change, he has published four books and more than two hundred papers, and has been involved with numerous high-profile government and scientific organisations. Mann has also been on the receiving end of the climate change disinformation campaign, most notably in 2009 when his email was hacked and cherry-picked statements were released to make it look as though his results were fabricated. Following this, the Republican Attorney General of Virginia demanded, and was denied, access to his papers and Mann was also forced to sue several news organisations for defamation.
This volume covers the basics of climate science, Mann’s personal experiences in the field, including the development of the hockey stick graph, and the aggressive disinformation campaigns waged against climate scientists by fossil fuel companies, politicians, and the right-wing media.
...Dispatches from the Front Lines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine in black. With the dust jacket. A fine copy in the jacket.
Maryańska, Teresa | O Gadach bez Sensacji
First edition, first impression. A rare copy of this charming, illustrated booklet on dinosaurs published by Warsaw’s Museum of the Earth. WorldCat only locates one copy, at the National Library of Poland. The detailed edition statement records that this book was submitted for typesetting in October 1969 and approved for printing in March 1970, with the order number dated 1969, for a total of 5,200 copies. Though the date 1979 appears above the statement, this is a typo, likely for 1970 (many thanks to Philip Penka of Bernett Penka Rare Books for the translation).
Author Teresa Maryańska (1937-2019)) was a leading dinosaur palaeontologist associated with the Museum of the Earth at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where she as vice-director between 1976 and 2006. “Her research was initially on invertebrate palaeontology. Her thesis concerned the Bryozoa, but she was always interested in vertebrates and looked for an opportunity to study them. Eventually, she was invited to participate in the Polish-Mongolian Palaeontological Expeditions to the Gobi desert, and became an active, highly appreciated participant of all four expeditions” (Borsuk-Białynicka & Jakubowski, “In Memoriam: Teresa Maryańska”, Acta Palaeontologica, volume 64, number 4, 2019).
Maryańska’s first dinosaur research was on the ankylosaurs, and her magnum opus on their anatomy and taxonomy was published in 1977. She then worked on specimens of the pacycephalosaurs, protoceratopsians, and hadrosaurs, and oviraptors, and many of her discoveries were made while working closely with her colleague and friend Halszka Osmólska (1930-2008). She was also a co-author of several chapters of The Dinosauria, one of the most important scholarly reference works on dinosaurs, first published in 1990 and “unparalleled for its comprehensiveness at the time” (Borsuk-Białynicka).
Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Geologiczne, Muzeum Ziemi pan Warszawa, 1970.
Duodecimo. Original yellow wrappers printed in black with a black and white photo of fossilised dinosaur skin to the upper wrapper. Folding map. Diagrams and illustrations from black and white photographs throughout the text. Contemporary price sticker to the rear cover. Wrappers a little tanned and rubbed, tail of spine bumped. A very good copy.
Mather, John C. & John Boslough | The Very First Light
First edition, first printing and a beautiful copy inscribed by the author on the title, “Best wishes to my longtime good friend Sy Coleman! John Mather”. The recipient may have been the Sy Coleman who founded Aspen Public Radio and died in 2020.
John C. Mather (1946 - ) is one of the most prominent astrophysicists working today. He was the recipient of the Noble Prize alongside George F. Smoot for their joint work on the cosmic background radiation using data from the COBE satellite, launched in 1989. This groundbreaking research on the energy patterns of the early universe “provided increased support for the Big Bang scenario for the origin of the Universe, as this is the only scenario that predicts the kind of cosmic microwave background radiation measured by COBE. These measurements also marked the inception of cosmology as a precise science” (Nobel Prize announcement).
The Very First Light is Smoot’s first-hand account of the COBE programme and its results, written for a popular audience. Today Smoot is the Senior Project Scientist for the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope, which can see further and in greater detail than any telescope before, promising to revolutionise the field of cosmology.
...The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe. [New York]: Basic Books, a division of Harper Collins, 1996.
Octavo. Original black boars, black cloth backstrip, titles to spine in silver, Harper Collins device to upper board in blind. With the dust jacket. Illustrations within the text. A fine copy in the jacket.