Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Science Books

  • Alice Bell
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_320-1

Books have a long-standing high profile position in science education. It is hard to pin down precisely whether they have any significant educational impact. What is discernible is that they have impact ascribed to them, with scientists frequently referring to the inspirational power of the popular science books (and science fiction) they read as children. Books for adults are also often cited in terms of the public understanding of science and/or political support for science funding.

Overviews of the histories and ideologies of popular science aimed at adults are available elsewhere, so this entry will focus on some of the history and diversity of science books for young people. Most of the examples sit within the 7–11 years age range, largely because this is the age that children’s popular science books are produced for. What might be defined as a children’s science book will always be reasonably open as we might unpack any of the terms children’s, science, or book. Indeed, the...


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  1. Bell A (2008) Science as pantomime: explorations in children’s contemporary non-fiction books. PhD thesis, University of London. Copy available on email requestGoogle Scholar
  2. Buckingham D (1995) On the impossibility of children’s television: the case of Timmy Mallet. In: Bazalgette C, Buckingham D (eds) In front of the children: screen entertainment and young audiences. BFI Publishing, London, pp 47–61Google Scholar
  3. Fyfe A, Lightman B (eds) (2007) Science in the marketplace: nineteenth-century sites and experiences. University of Chicago Press, Chicago/LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Secord JA (2002) Portraits of science: quick and magical shaper of science. Science 297(5587):1648–1649CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK