Scientists Who Changed the World is not meant to teach precise scientific facts. Instead, it attempts to portray great scientists who, throughout their lives, were highly motivated to search for the truth of matters with dedication and courage. For an introduction to the subject of science, the book will help to give a student motivation for further research. As with the Pooles’ other books about science that were designed for young people—this volume is one book in Dodd, Mead’s Makers of Our Modern World series, which includes Scientists Who Work Outdoors (1963), Scientists Who Work with Astronauts (1964), and Scientists Who Work with Cameras (1965)—Scientists Who Changed the World is general and simple. These brief biographical sketches have not made an impact on the public’s perception of these individuals; there have been entire books written about each of them. Nevertheless, the work gives students a framework on which to hang the scientific facts and concepts that they will learn in the course of their future formal or informal studies.
The book is full not of facts but of human character. By these examples of courage and dedication, the Pooles imply a powerful message for young readers, who need role models worth emulating. The strength of character of these scientists impelled them to contribute something valuable to humankind. They provide examples of how diligence and perseverance under pressure can help one to achieve worthwhile goals. For these reasons, Scientists Who Changed the World should have a place on school and public library shelves.