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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
As early as the 1950s, CFCs were used in cooling devices. Scientists argued that they were safe, but one scientist, Mario Molina, wasn’t so sure. A recognized chemist, Molina studied the compound in the 1970s and was shocked to discover that it released a chlorine atom which is very dangerous to all life and, in particular, to the ozone layer which protects the earth from the damaging rays of the sun. He managed to convince governments to prohibit its use. Not surprisingly, we’re facing a similar dilemma today as we combat the buildup of greenhouse gases and global warming. There are a lot of little stories in science that have made a big difference to how we live and view the world. These stories are meant to be shared, to inspire the next generation of budding scientists and perhaps encourage all of us to look at the world a little differently and take better care of our planet. Diane Lincoln does just that in Science Discovery Files: 10 Forgotten Stories of Incredible Scientists.
As a high school science teacher, Diane Lincoln saw the benefits of relating these stories to her teenage students. They did the research she set them after each story was told and the students benefited from a renewed passion for learning science and understanding the work of scientists, even those who never made it into the history books. She collected her stories and created the anthology Science Discovery Files to share with other students as well as educators. Each account is told in the author’s rich storytelling voice and ends with a few questions and a possible research project to broaden young people’s perspective on the topic. Finally, the author provides additional information on each story presented as well as further reading suggestions. Both educational and entertaining, this is a great learning tool to encourage young and older people to look further into the fascinating stories behind science.