Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In order to choose the scientists who would rate mention in Scientists Who Changed the World, Lynn and Gray Poole contacted more than one hundred scholars and scientists and asked them to make lists of only those scientists whose courage enabled them to devise new and revolutionary ways of thinking in their fields. These lists were then compiled and biographical sketches written of those who were chosen unanimously.

When these biographies are read together, a picture emerges that can be encouraging to young people. This is particularly the case for those whose interest in science takes them off the popular paths of their peers or whose intellectual abilities are social liabilities, as these revolutionary thinkers were generally viewed as odd when they were young. They often spent so much thought on their scientific interests that they were considered social misfits, and they generally had to persevere against popular opinion for years before their great ideas were accepted. The world owes much to their tenacity.

The Pooles’ compilation of short biographies, although presented separately, show similarities that give insight into the backgrounds and character traits that great scientists share. Traveling chronologically through the centuries, granting a short chapter to most of the scientists and grouping several into short chapters because they were working on similar problems, the authors give the reader an impression of the...

(The entire section is 558 words.)