Edited Books





A Guardian “Favourite Reads - as Chosen by Scientists” Selection, 2016

Ron and Kostas

“When Ron (left), Kostas (right) and Newton’s
Apple got all together for the first time.”

R.L. Numbers & K. Kampourakis (Eds) (2015) Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Watch a book discussion on Newton's Apple and Other Myths about Science.

Look inside the book in Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk or Google Books.

Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and Korean.

Read also the endorsements of the book, as well as excerpts from book reviews:

  • by Jim Endersby in Science: “[A] delightful collection of short, thought-provoking essays… Every reader should find something to surprise them.”

  • by P.D. Skiff in Choice: “Myths about science, including its history and practice, abound among the general public, scientists, and science teachers… This book will be a surprising read for the general audience and even scientists; it is a must read for science educators.”

  • by Henrietta Verma in Library Journal: “Many of the facts we think we know about science—that Isaac Newton has an epiphany about gravity when an apple fell on his head, for example, are apocryphal. These essays by science and other historians challenge the idea that science is an endeavor that jumps forward because of the discoveries or inventions of individuals, explaining that it is instead advanced by the accretion of tiny breakthroughs made by multitudes over time.”

  • in Publisher’s Weekly (starred review): “Myths die hard no matter how often they are refuted, and this splendid essay collection, edited by Numbers and Kampourakis, tackles many of the most prevalent and destructive myths about science… The book’s real value lies in the way that each author not only refutes a myth, but traces its origins and points out why it has lasted so long; each brief, well-written essay—they average eight pages—gives the historical context and explains the relevant science."

  • by Gemma Tarlach in Discover: “[A] provocative collection that tackles some of science’s most enduring misconceptions and dubious assumptions.”

  • by Bob Grant in The Scientist: “Newton’s Apple seeks to expose lingering misconceptions about the precursors of modern science, about how science is conducted, and about leading researchers who pushed their fields forward.”

  • by Rebekah Higgitt in The Guardian: “In Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science 27 experts in the history of science and science education explore 27 ‘myths’ that are staples of classroom and popular science. Each short, readable and authoritative chapter is perfect commute-length reading. Better than just countering the myths, the book explains when they arose and why they stuck.”

  • by Donald Calbreath in The New York Journal of Books : “...thoroughly researched and well-written journey through some of the key ideas in science and the real stories behind their development.”

  • by Carolyn E. Anderson in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith: "The importance of Newton’s Apple lies in its honest ability to define and provide historical depth and context to the events surrounding commonly taught myths. … Overall, the essays included in this volume address important myths that continue to hinder the public understanding of science and its history. … Engagement with this volume stands to improve scientific accuracy and the general understanding of how scientists actually do science. … Context matters, and this volume does an excellent job of placing each of the presented myths within its historical context and identifying important historical details, which in many cases have been skewed for rhetorical, pedagogical, or, occasionally, for more malicious reasons. Regardless of the motivation, it is time to reclaim scientific history, and Newton’s Apple serves as an important step in that process."

  • by Nick Spicher in Metascience: "Newton’s Apple, therefore, is intended to inform the work of science educators who may take for granted that the cursory histories provided by science textbooks would be adequate background for their students. Whether these science educators simply lack the necessary background ... or have a science-informed background that may lead them toward an overly triumphalist narrative, they would be well-served by reading a historical perspective such as the present volume. The arguments over how science should be taught are very often proxy battles for the larger, ongoing war over what science is. If the science classroom is to be the battlefield, Newton’s Apple will help to arm educators receptive to the message with the historian’s perspective."


“Myth busting is always great fun as well as being educational. Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science is a splendid sequel to Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion. Here, twenty-eight experts punch holes in widely-held opinions about science. But it may be disconcerting to find a few of your own long-held beliefs in the ranks. So don’t read this book if you aren’t prepared to change your mind.”—Owen Gingerich, author of God’s Planet

“Twenty-seven popular myths about science and its history bite the dust in this engaging and timely book. In these essays, Numbers, Kampourakis, and a host of eminent experts set the record straight and explore how and why these myths become part of our collective memory—whether right or wrong. Each chapter offers important lessons about history and the scientists involved in some of our most significant discoveries.”—Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: A Biography

“Numbers and Kampourakis have assembled a splendid collection of essays challenging rampant misconceptions about science past and present. This book will be of interest to researchers, teachers, students, and anyone who cares about getting the history of science right.”—Angela N. H. Creager, author of Life Atomic

K. Kampourakis (Ed) (2013) The Philosophy of Biology: a Companion for Educators. Springer, Dordrecht.

Look inside the book in Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk or Google Books.

Read also the endorsements of the book, as well as excerpts from book reviews:

  • by Costas Mannouris in Metascience : “A most useful addition to the scholarly resources available to both science educators and science education researchers. The volume gathers several well-known scholars in the philosophy of biology, addressing a large range of topics in good quality and generally accessible chapters. … this is a highly commendable book, which will find a natural and deserved place in the library … . a book to be carefully read and, above all, put to good use in our classrooms and inquiries.”

  • by Charbel El Hani in Science & Education : “This impressive volume–the first of its kind–explores some of the most pressing issues in the philosophy of biology from the perspective of biology education … . is intended for biology teachers, undergraduate students of biology and philosophy of biology, curriculum developers and philosophers of biology. … each chapter offers an extensive literature review, which would be of tremendous help to anyone looking to explore further the area of focus. … Overall, the book makes valuable contributions … .”

  • by Daniel J. Nicholson in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences : "The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators delivers on its promise of demonstrating that philosophical discussions of biology have a great deal to contribute to biology education. Indeed, the numerous essays it contains provide a wide range of practical pedagogical recommendations that teachers can implement in their classes. … institutions will have the sense and foresight to stock one or more copies of this hefty tome in their libraries so that it attains the wide readership it undoubtedly deserves."


"This is an unusual and, for that reason, an extraordinarily important volume. It is not only a compendium on philosophical discussions of all the major issues in biology over the past centuries, it is also written by philosophers well-acquainted with biology itself and aimed at educators. The important lesson that is conveyed is that science is a process involving every sort of consideration from epistemology to assumptions made and experimental design, to reasoning toward conclusions. Articles by the leading scholars in philosophy of biology analyze in cogent, non-jargonistic language, major issues such as “scientific creationism” and “Intelligent Design”, evo-devo, micro- and macro-evolution, reductionism, ethics in biomedical research and numerous others. This will be a valuable “companion” for biology instructors and pedagogical researchers at both the secondary and university levels, and especially in teacher-education programs. It will also be of important use to biologists doing cutting-edge research, suggesting ways they may want to think about their work. Most important, it brings a multitude of philosophical issues to bear on teaching students how to think about science as a field of dynamic inquiry, rather than one of static information." (Garland E. Allen, Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, December 2013)

"The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators is an important and comprehensive contribution to biology and biology education authored by a remarkable group of scholars. The nature of science has a unique flavor within biology and editor Kostas Kampourakis has assembled experts with both the expertise and communication skills to comment engagingly on virtually every aspect of the nature of biology. Scholars of the history and philosophy of biology and biology educators will be informed by the range and depth provided by the rich diversity of chapters that comprise this important new work." (William F. McComas, Parks Family Professor of Science Education, University of Arkansas USA, December 2013)

"This unique anthology’s 30-chapters take research in ‘philosophy of science and science teaching’ to a whole new level of scholarly sophistication. The book will be welcomed by biologists, philosophers and educators; it will establish a new and indispensable baseline for future research in biology education." (Michael R. Matthews, School of Education, University of New South Wales, Australia, November 2013)

"An important collection for the area." (Jean Gayon Professeur à l'Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, membre senior de l'IUF, Directeur de l'IHPST, September 2013)