Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Access to exclusive member-only sales, as well as 30% off your purchases of any additional titles.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
  • Summary

  • Sunday Times best-selling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson, teams up with The Science Museum to celebrate the ideas and inventions of the incurably curious.

    Across this five-episode series, Bill Bryson, with the help of The Science Museum's curators, takes us object-by-object through some of the museum's lesser known inventions and discoveries - and the human stories behind them.

    Discover how a teenage inventor, a pig's head, a lump of plywood and a famous British record label made medical history or how some inventions simply happen by accident. This 'museum for your ears' looks at how experimentation, competition, hard work and a desire to change our lives for the better have contributed to the progress of mankind.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 5 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2017 Audible, Ltd. (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.
    Show more Show less
Episodes
  • Ep. 1: Mapping the Earth

    Feb 27 2018

    An object that helped create the first map of Britain and one at the forefront of climate-change research. Bill tells the stories of the Great Theodolite that was used on the principle triangulation of Britain, and AATSR (Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer) that measures the temperature of the sea from space.

    Both objects tell a story about why collaboration is so important in the field of scientific discovery from the teams that put together the first maps to the international fight against climate change. He is joined in this episode by Alex Rose, curator of Earth Sciences at the Science Museum.

    Show more Show less
    16 mins
  • Ep. 2: The Pioneers of Radio

    Feb 27 2018
    Bill tells the story of the Italian Navy Detector that was devised by a humble scientist, Jagadish Chandra Bose, who could be regarded as one of India's greatest minds. And the more famous, Guillermo Marconi, and his quest to invent the Marconi Short-Wave Beam Transmitter. He is joined by John Liffen, the Science Museum's Curator of Communications.
    Show more Show less
    22 mins
  • Ep. 3: Life-Saving Clocks

    Feb 27 2018
    Bill is joined by David Rooney, the Science Museum's Curator of Time, Navigation and Transport, who tells the story of the John Harrison Clock and the inventor's quest to solve the longitude problem.
    Show more Show less
    14 mins

Publisher's Summary

Sunday Times best-selling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson, teams up with The Science Museum to celebrate the ideas and inventions of the incurably curious.

Across this five-episode series, Bill Bryson, with the help of The Science Museum's curators, takes us object-by-object through some of the museum's lesser known inventions and discoveries - and the human stories behind them.

Discover how a teenage inventor, a pig's head, a lump of plywood and a famous British record label made medical history or how some inventions simply happen by accident. This 'museum for your ears' looks at how experimentation, competition, hard work and a desire to change our lives for the better have contributed to the progress of mankind.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 5 episodes to your Library now.

©2017 Audible, Ltd. (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.

What listeners say about Bill Bryson's Appliance of Science

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bits and pieces from the London Museum of Science

one of the things that is always fascinated me of a big museums is what don't we get to see, and what stories don't we get to hear about. this behind-the-scenes look at curators favourite items makes me want to go back.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gabriela
  • 2020-04-28

Very interesting

It was very instructive and left me wanting to know about more objects from this museum.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Betsy Fowler
  • 2020-04-29

Tour of obscure scientific objects

This book is nicely written and narrated by Bill Bryson, with guest appearances by various curators at London's Science Museum. However, it is nearly impossible to follow this without images, so one comes away without any clear idea of how each object actually works.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-04-20

A frustrating listening experience

The files within this book do not play in order. After every chapter I was returned to the beginning of that chapter or the beginning of the book altogether. Also, each chapter seems to end rather abruptly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ActiveCustomer
  • 2020-04-16

Worth the time

There are some good stories in the series. These narration at times made it a bit tough to listen for too long.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-10

Overall A Good Series

Overall this is a nice little series. I did expect it to peak my interest more than it did, I think some episodes felt rushed. With that said I quite enjoyed the medical installment and the quality of production.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RC
  • 2019-04-28

Good subjects but hate the editing style

Great subjects but the style of presentation is distracting. The odd editing style was distracting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-04-06

Loved It!

Bill Bryson has never failed to entertain me in print and now on audio. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 2020-12-05

Entertaining and enlightening

Just as it promises, these episodes bring you a glimpse into the scientific world in a very creative way. Science can be hard to understand without visual models, but with this series, Bill Bryson has succeeded in painting the mental pictures you need to understand the content. I will be checking out his other work and books as well.

Thank you Bill Bryson, as well as those who helped him produce this podcast. I plan to be a loyal listener!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa Noyes
  • 2020-05-01

This should be called “The History of British Science and Engineering.”

This should be called “The History of British Science and Engineering.”

It was entirely historical with nothing recent, and that was not clear from the name or description.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J's Ebie
  • 2019-12-30

Great fun

I wanted something short and educational to read. This one was great. Five short chapters. The items discussed were interesting and unusual. You never know what you’ll find in a science museum, especially when Bill Bryson is involved.