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Repcheck, Jack 1957-

Repcheck, Jack 1957-

PERSONAL:

Born 1957; married; five children. Education: Pennsylvania State University, B.A.; University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Newton Township, PA.

CAREER:

Editor and author. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, acquisitions editor; has also worked for Addison-Wesley and Princeton University Press.

WRITINGS:

The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of Earth's Antiquity, Perseus Books (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jack Repcheck, an acquisitions editor for New York City-based publisher W.W. Norton & Company, is the author of The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of Earth's Antiquity. Hutton, an eighteenth-century farmer, is regarded as the founder of modern geology; through his observations of the land formations in southern Scotland, he irritated many of his devout countrymen when he theorized that the earth is much older than its long-accepted biblical age. In the words of American Scientist reviewer Greg Ross, "this insight laid the foundations of modern geology and provided a necessary backdrop for the theory of evolution."

In The Man Who Found Time, Repcheck "details the social milieu of Hutton's time, blending science with the social factors contributing to Hutton's personality and discoveries," wrote Library Journal reviewer Andy Wickens, while in Publishers Weekly a reviewer dubbed The Man Who Found Time an "engaging account of scientific discovery" that hopes to position its subject "into the lofty company of Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin, as one who wrested modern science from the ‘straight jacket of religious orthodoxy.’" Spectator critic Robert Macfarlane added: "Readers who are looking for a clear and intelligent explanation of Hutton's life and legacy will find much to please them here."

Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began offers readers the full story surrounding sixteenth-century Polish scientist Nicolaus Copernicus and his assertion that the earth revolves around the sun. Although he was fairly certain that his theory was correct, Copernicus was nevertheless concerned about the possibility that portions of his calculations might be inaccurate or just plain wrong. As a result, he hid his notes and writings on the subject safely from the public eye. Only the pleas of fellow scientist Georg Joachim Rheticus, a young professor who also served as a cleric and who found himself in trouble due to his scientific views, were able to convince Copernicus to complete and ultimately reveal his work. Rheticus collaborated with Copernicus on his work's final stages over the next two years. The resulting text, Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, was ultimately published the same year that Copernicus died, in 1543. Repcheck recounts these lesser-known aspects of Copernicus's life and career over the course of this book. Bryce Christensen, in a review for Booklist, remarked that "the history of science here reclaims a fascinating lost chapter." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly observed that Repcheck "also does an admirable job of shining a light on Copernicus's little-known immediate predecessors." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews dubbed the book "a fine biography of the obscure cleric who demonstrated that the earth was not the center of the universe."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Scientist, November-December, 2003, Greg Ross, "Nanoviews," pp. 555-558.

Antiquity, September, 2003, N. James, review of The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of Earth's Antiquity, p. 595.

Booklist, May 15, 2003, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Man Who Found Time, p. 1623; November 1, 2007, Bryce Christensen, review of Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began, p. 11.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, November, 2003, J.W. Green, review of The Man Who Found Time, pp. 570-571.

Free Inquiry, February-March, 2004, James Sullivan, "Remembering a Forgotten Scientist," pp. 56-57.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2003, review of The Man Who Found Time, p. 593; October 1, 2007, review of Copernicus' Secret.

Library Journal, May 15, 2003, Andy Wickens, review of The Man Who Found Time, p. 121.

Nature, June 26, 2003, David R. Oldroyd, "Discovering Geological Time," p. 920.

Publishers Weekly, April 7, 2003, review of The Man Who Found Time, p. 54; October 1, 2007, review of Copernicus' Secret, p. 48.

Science News, August 23, 2003, review of The Man Who Found Time, p. 127.

Spectator, September 13, 2003, Robert Macfarlane, review of The Man Who Found Time, pp. 62-63.

Times Higher Education Supplement, April 23, 2004, Nick Petford, review of The Man Who Found Time, p. 26.

Washington Times, August 17, 2003, Charles Rousseaux, "Did He Know the Age of Earth?"

ONLINE

BookSense,http://www.booksense.com/ (August 14, 2003), "Very Interesting People."

PhillyBurbs,http://www.phillyburbs.com/ (June 5, 2003), Katrina O'Toole, "Providing History to the Public—One Page at a Time."

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