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How it Shaped Our World

David Rooney

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 039 7

    Size: 280 x 240 mm (9 x 11 in.)

    Binding: Paperback and hardback

    Pages: 208

    In association with:

    Date published: December, 2016

    UK £40 /US $60


  • Features the world-class collections of the Science Museum, which are unique in their depth, breadth and quality
  • Tells stories about the wide range of people involved in mathematical activity over the past 400 years
  • Shows how mathematical practice has been shaped by some of our most fundamental human concerns, rather than being remote from our everyday lives
  • Includes newly commissioned essays from Patricia Fara, June Barrow-Green, Jim Bennett, Dame Celia Hoyles and Helen Wilson


Mathematics is not just the product of lone geniuses dreaming up ideas remote from everyday life: real social, political and cultural problems drive developments in the subject, and the work of mathematical practitioners surrounds us everywhere we look. This lavishly illustrated book accompanies the Science Museum’s landmark new Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, due to open in December 2016. It includes an absorbing series of essays by world-leading experts in the history and modern practice of mathematics, alongside vivid accounts of mathematical work underpinning some of our most fundamental human concerns, from life and death to war and peace, money, trade, beauty and our attempts to control nature’s most elemental forces. Mathematics uses the world-class collections of the Science Museum to offer a vivid vision of the people behind 400 years of mathematical practice, driven by problems that affect us all.

Author information

David Rooney is a curator in the Technologies and Engineering Group at the Science Museum and lead curator of Mathematics: The Winton Gallery.