From the length of the human genome to the number of stars in the sky, within these pages lies a fascinating collection of stories of mankind's speculation and discovery. When the great Isaac Newton looked back on his life's work, he felt he had been 'like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.' Given Newton's prickly personality, we may guess he would have been very upset had anyone else referred to his achievements in such terms. But the image he conjured up has captivated scientists ever since, and Cyril Aydon has cast his eye over the last 2000 years at the pebbles discovered by others. Here is his selection of nearly two hundred famous scientists, and their astonishing discoveries, retold in amusing and illuminating anecdotes.