The Weather Experiment
The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
By the 1800s, a century of feverish discovery had launched the major branches of science. Physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy made the natural world explicable through experiment, observation, and categorization. And yet one scientific field remained in its infancy. Despite millennia of observation, mankind still had no understanding of the forces behind the weather. A century after the death of Newton, the laws that governed the heavens were entirely unknown, and weather forecasting was the stuff of folklore and superstition.
Peter Moore's The Weather Experiment is the account of a group of naturalists, engineers, and artists who conquered the elements. It describes their travels and experiments, their breakthroughs and bankruptcies, with picaresque vigor. It takes readers from Irish bogs to a thunderstorm in Guanabara Bay to the basket of a hydrogen balloon 8,500 feet over Paris. And it captures the particular bent of mind--combining the Romantic love of Nature and the Enlightenment love of Reason--that allowed humanity to finally decipher the skies.
New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year
Writing in the Air
At a quarter to eight on a breezy spring morning in 1804, Francis Beaufort of the Irish Telegraph Corps came racing up the broad upper slopes of Croghan Hill, his militiamen close on his...
Praise for The Weather Experiment
“Moore is the rare science writer who can describe dew point so poetically you feel you're with him in a twinkling field of white clover on a cool summer morning. Moore's history is just as evocative, and full of wisdom for modern times.” —Cynthia Barnett, The New York Times Book Review
“[An] elegantly constructed group biography . . . recalls the best of its genre.” —Mike Jay, The Wall Street Journal
“[A] spirited new book . . . [Moore] is a gifted writer with a nifty turn of phrase.” —Matthew Price, The Boston Globe