Cover image for The international encyclopedia of science and technology
The international encyclopedia of science and technology
Luck, Steve.
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
471 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 31 cm
General Note:
"First published in Great Britain in 1998 by George Philip Limited"--T.p. verso.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q121 .I48 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Q121 .I48 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



This lavishly illustrated encyclopedia makes an ideal home reference, accessible to high school and college students as well as adults with a general interest in science. It is the perfect companion for avid readers of newspaper science pages. Here is indeed a wealth of information. The encyclopedia boasts 6,500 alphabetically arranged entries, each written by an expert in the field, covering virtually every aspect of science and technology, from the structure of atoms to the functioning of the cell. Readers will find briefinformative biographies of scientists and inventors as well as clear explanations of terms from all areas of science--including astronomy, chemistry, biology, botany, engineering, physics, and medicine, to name a few. In addition, dozens of major topics--such as the Solar System, the Computer, orthe Human Body--receive expanded, one- or two-page spreads for more in-depth coverage. The volume also has 700 special-feature boxes that explain key topics, inventions, and processes, ranging from air conditioners and aerosol cans to bicycles and binary stars. There is a 40-page time-line detailingsignificant moments in the history of science and technology, plus a ten-page ready reference section that covers everything from SI units and the elements to constellations and Nobel Prize winners. And the entire volume boasts marvelous illustrations--over a thousand color diagrams, tables, andphotographs--that do not merely decorate the page, but offer important visual information about the topics under discussion, with thoughtful captions that complement the text. Beautifully designed, highly informative, and easy to use, The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology is an essential addition to all home libraries.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Aimed at the secondary-school or college student, this work is Oxford's version of a general science encyclopedia. It contains more than 6,500 entries covering all the disciplines of the sciences throughout history. In addition to scientific topics and theories, more than 850 biographies of important scientists are included. Because of such ambitious coverage, this work is really more of a scientific dictionary than encyclopedia. Entries are alphabetically arranged and are very short, rarely more than a couple of sentences. With such little space devoted to each entry, the encyclopedia provides only the most superficial coverage of any given topic. In addition to the alphabetical entries, there is a 60-page chronology of science. Students can use the chronology to study the development of various scientific disciplines throughout the ages. The real strength of this work is in its illustrations, which are clear and colorful and enhance the entries in the text. Other one-or two-volume general science encyclopedias, such as the McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (4th ed., 1998) or Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia (8th ed., 1995), provide more complete coverage (but no biographies) and will continue to be the standard sources for this type of information. However, the low price and excellent illustrations in the Oxford volume make it a fine ready-reference companion for those other sources.

Choice Review

Highly recommended for libraries serving general readers or undergraduates, this excellent encyclopedic dictionary contains 6,500 entries including biographical information for more than 850 scientists. Each entry averages four to six sentences; most include several cross-references. Two appendixes consist of a chronology of science and a ready reference section (conversion factors, Nobel Prize winners, etc.). The wonderful color illustrations and diagrams make this work stand apart from its rivals, Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology, (CH, Jan'96), Chambers Science and Technology Dictionary, both ed. by P.B.M. Walker (CH, Mar'89), and McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (5th ed., ed. by Sybil Parker, CH, Mar'94). All three have more entries than Luck, but the length of entries averages only one to two sentences. Only McGraw-Hill includes biographies (also with one- to two-sentence entries). The illustrations in Luck's book make it an excellent complement to the other three. A word of caution: the book jacket advertises the work as a "revised and updated edition," but the only differences between this and the previous edition (1999) appear to be a different ISBN and the addition of the 1999 Nobel Prize winners in the ready reference section. General and undergraduate readers. S. Jent; University of Louisville