Opening doors to science

Anna Neena George

I would like to introduce to my fellow science teachers to three books on science learning. These are books that every science teacher should have on his/her bookshelf.

The-story-of-chemistry The Story of Chemistry by Anirban Hazra

Anirban Hazra has a very lucid, humourous, captivating penmanship. The use of animations, anecdotes, and concise information make this book an absorbing read. It will change one’s perspective of chemistry from being a collection of chemical equations and smelly reactions to a long journey of ardent human endeavours, which began in the cave. The book inspires admiration for our ancestors who carried out scientific research and shared their knowledge with future generations. It certainly brings the subject very close to human history: trade, wars, civilizations, travels. The book begins with the accidental discovery of fire which helped early man keep warm, cook food, and ward off predators. The book ends with the hope of preserving our earth. The reader gets a bird’s eye view of chemistry – from alchemy to the finding of the composition of water, to spectroscopy, to the periodic table, to quantum chemistry, to scanning tunneling microscope. All this without the “hardcore” terms and explanations, which put off many readers. The cartoons and snippets make the reading very compelling. The impact of major events in human history on chemistry and vice versa is clearly seen in the book. This book is a very good supplementary reading material for class 6 upwards. It can be used as a springboard for role plays, brief presentations, and understanding the chronological sequence of events in the evolution of chemistry. It will certainly create a love for the subject among the students. The book may not be entrance exam or school exam material, but it will help consolidate facts given in the textbook in a coherent manner.

The author is Associate Professor at GVM’s Dr.Dada Vaidya College of Education, Ponda – Goa. She can be reached at

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