Stuff Matters

Stuff Matters (2014) by Mark Miodownik is a really excellent work of non-fiction that combines a narrative that hangs the facts together, in this case a photo of the author, with a lot of really interesting facts. The book is about materials and Miodownik as a materials scientist is in an ideal position to point out how important materials are in the modern world. The book is also, critically, a delight to read.

The chapters are Indomitable; about Stainless Steel, Trusted on paper, Fundamental on concrete, Delicious on chocolate, Marvellous on foam, Imaginative on plastic, Invisible on glass, Unbreakable on diamond, graphite and graphene, Refined on porcelain, Immortal on implants and Synthesis which summarises the book.

Each chapter is full of new things to learn and interesting stories about the use and history of materials and the people who discovered the materials as well as short, interesting tales about the author himself.

The book is up there with the best non-fiction by Michael Lewis, Steven Pinker, Ben Goldacre and Simon Winchester. Material science is a really important aspect of the modern world that is sadly neglected and this book covers this subject superbly.


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