New book: For Science, King & Country. The Life and Legacy of Henry Moseley

Killed in action at Gallipoli in the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915, aged just twenty-seven, Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley was widely regarded as the most promising British physicist of his generation. His pioneering measurements of X-ray spectra provided a firm basis for the concept of atomic number and re-cast the periodic table of the elements into its modern form. Had he survived, he seemed destined to win a Nobel Prize.

This book is a commemoration of Moseley’s life, work, and legacy. Inspired by the exhibition ‘Dear Harry… Henry Moseley: A Scientist Lost to War’, at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, in 2015-2016, and revisiting earlier accounts, thirteen historians and scientists chart his experience of Manchester and Oxford; his military service; the reception of his work by the scientific community; and the impact of his work upon X-ray spectroscopy in physics, chemistry, and materials science.

For Science, King & Country speaks to those with an interest in history, science, and the First World War, and draws upon a wealth of archives, artefacts, and recent research on the reward systems of science. Overall, it presents a comprehensive account of a young scientist whose brief but mercurial career paved the way to a new understanding of nature, and to shaping the future of physical science.

Edited by Professor Roy MacLeod, Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Sydney, Professor Russell G. Egdell, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Oxford and Dr Elizabeth Bruton, Curator of Technology and Engineering at The Science Museum, London.

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