E -- Natural Sciences, Technology, Medicine

Vorstoß ins Unbekannte: Lexikon großer Naturwissenschaftler [A Venture into the Unknown: Dictionary of Leading Natural Scientists]. Ed. Fritz Krafft. Weinheim [et al.]: Wiley-VCH, 1999. xi, 474 p. 24 cm. Previous title: Große Naturwissenschaftler. ISBN 3-527-29656-5: DM 68.00 [99-1/4-470] It becomes clear only from the foreword that this work is actually a third edition of Große Naturwissenschaftler, previously issued by the VDI publishing company in 1986. Its increased total page count should not distract from the abbreviated content of the current version. All areas of the natural sciences and medicine are covered. The work consists of extensive entries for 340 deceased individuals, with additional short entries for 730 other scientists. These, however, are primarily brief mentions in the 340 longer articles; thus the scope of the work is actually quite small. The individual entries consist primarily of the scientists' professional activities and their role in the larger field. Personal details are de-emphasized. References to primary and secondary literature are included. The entries themselves are basically revisions of those in the earlier editions. Only one new scientist is included, and thirty-one entries have been eliminated without comment. The seventy-page bibliography of sources concerning the history of the natural sciences has also been eliminated. Referral to the outdated Wie finde ich Informationen zu Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik as a substitute is not adequate. Despite the work's balanced articles and current bibliographical references, the abridgement from the previous editions is disappointing. [sah/sbd]

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