Wash your hands to prevent getting the flu, the Earth revolves around the Sun, poisons we throw out can affect the entire ecosystem. While these are common knowledge today, at one time these ideas were rejected. People have not always been ready to listen to revolutionary ideas.
Shortlisted for the Lane Anderson Award, which recognizes excellence in Canadian science writing, Before the World Was Ready: Stories of Daring Genius in Science by Claire Eamer details the hardship some of our scientific heroes endured while introducing the world to their world-shaking ideas. Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace nearly invented the computer in the 1800s; Ignaz Semmelweis tried in vain to convince hospitals to use disinfection methods; Charles Darwin delayed publishing on natural selection for decades for fear of controversy; Rachel Carson sounded the first alarm about the effects of pesticides on wildlife and was met with fierce criticism.
Before the World Was Ready is enlivened by colourful and witty illustrations as it brings to life the stories of these great minds who dared to think differently, and encourages young readers to look out for, and even become, the next great thinker.
Before the World Was Ready: Stories of Daring Genius in Science by Claire Eamer is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.
*Originally published in the Minden Times on September 10th, 2014.