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Periodic Tales


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About the Author

Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a writer and curator with interests ranging from science to architecture and design. His prolific career as a freelance journalist included a five-year stint as the design critic of the New Statesman.

He has written a number of books on design, as well as The Most Beautiful Molecule (1994), the story of the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a molecular form of the element carbon.

More recently, he is the author of Findings- Hidden Stories in First-Hand Accounts of Scientific Discovery, and the curator of two exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Zoomorphic- New Animal Architecture and Touch Me- Design and Sensation.

He lives in Norfolk with his wife, son and two Maine coon cats.


Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too -- Matt Ridley
Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in -surprise * Sunday Times *
Splendid ... enjoyable and polished * Observer *
Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information * Sunday Telegraph *
Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty * Financial Times *
A joyous romp through the chemical elements * Today, BBC Radio 4 *
Not only a cultural history of the elements, it is also a lament to the loss of science as a hobby * Economist *
A flashily brainy book, crammed with literary references and held together by a personal quest to collect as many elements as possible * Telegraph *
'Elements are fun' is the essential premise of Hugh Aldersey-Williams's new book and by heck he's right ... Aldersey-Williams mourns the fact chemistry isn't really sexy any more; Periodic Tales is a step towards it getting its mojo back * Metro **** *
Imaginative and fun ... almost every page yields a nugget * Nature *

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