Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik
The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World

76%

5 Critic Reviews

Though I blush to recall it, once I had the impression that materials science was dull and pedestrian. "Stuff Matters" has changed my mind; now I find myself running my fingers along things and sighing. Mr. Miodownik's lively, eloquent book changes the way one looks at the world.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

* * * Winner of the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books * * * Stuff Matters by Mark Miodnownik is a unique and inspiring exploration of human creativity. 'Enthralling. A mission to re-acquaint us with the wonders of the fabric that sustains our lives' Guardian Everything is made of something... From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Stuff Matters reveals the inner workings of the man-made world, the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day. From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, from the ancient technologies of fabrics and ceramic to today's self-healing metals and bionic implants, this is a book to inspire amazement and delight at mankind's creativity. 'A certain sort of madness may be necessary to pull off what he has attempted here, which is a wholesale animation of the inanimate: Miodownik achieves precisely what he sets out to' The Times 'Insightful, fascinating. The futuristic materials will elicit gasps. Makes even the most everyday substance seem exciting' Sunday Times 'Wonderful. Miodownik writes well enough to make even concrete sparkle' Financial Times 'I stayed up all night reading this book' Oliver Sacks 'Expert, deftly written, immensely enjoyable' Observer Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2). In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection. In 2014 Stuff Matters won the Royal Society Winton Prize.
 

About Mark Miodownik

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Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2). In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection.
 
Published July 30, 2013 by Viking. 352 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Stuff Matters
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by James Kingsland on Nov 04 2014

A good book should also change the way we look at the world. But the human-made, material world has become so sophisticated, so ubiquitous, if we even give it a second thought we dismiss it as mundane and ordinary. Stuff Matters puts the record straight.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Peter Forbes on Jul 03 2013

...enthralling are the accounts of craft inventions before the scientific age.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Robin McKie on Jun 16 2013

In short, a proficiency with materials has consequences, a point expertly illustrated in this deftly written, immensely enjoyable little book.

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WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Peter Pesic on Jun 06 2014

Though I blush to recall it, once I had the impression that materials science was dull and pedestrian. "Stuff Matters" has changed my mind; now I find myself running my fingers along things and sighing. Mr. Miodownik's lively, eloquent book changes the way one looks at the world.

Read Full Review of Stuff Matters: The Strange St... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Clive Cookson on Jun 14 2013

The weak point of Stuff Matters is the way it slips occasionally into sloppiness.

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Reader Rating for Stuff Matters
89%

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