Andrew Sugden writes:
Vogel’s book is at least as much about physics and mechanical engineering as it is botanical. Much of the biology – metabolism, biochemistry, genetics, development, senescence and death – isn’t there, quite deliberately. This is not a breathless account of discoveries from the brave new world of genomics and molecular biology, but a journey back to the roots of modern science, where natural philosophers roamed across a landscape without disciplinary boundaries. His examples also extend to the technology of everyday life: the camera as a vehicle for explaining light and illumination, the glass of beer to explain the problem of liquids that contain dissolved gases, the electric space-heater to explain convection, the mechanism of the toilet to explain negative feedback. This book is a happy reminder that science can become much less daunting in the hands of an enthusiastic teacher.