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A sonnet to science presents an account of six ground-breaking scientists who also wrote poetry, and the effect that this had on their lives and research. How was the universal computer inspired by Lord Byron? Why was the link between malaria and mosquitos first captured in the form of a poem? Who did Humphry Davy consider to be an 'illiterate pirate'?

A sonnet to science presents an aspirational account of how these two disciplines can work together, and in so doing aims to inspire both current and future generations of scientists and poets that these worlds are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary in nature.


'Illingworth offers six beautifully wrought biographies - finding humour, lyricism and humanity in the lives and work of these six scientist-poets.'
Professor Alice Roberts

'This excellent book is a creative collision of Hadron-like proportion, scattering fragments of intellectual curiosity, fluency and unpretentiousness across every page. One of my "discoveries" of 2019.' 
Lemn Sissay MBE

'Hard to put down! A fascinating book full of comprehensive biographies showing the development of and influences on the poet scientist, illustrated with generous amounts of poetry!' 
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell 

'A wonderfully eclectic and uplifting collection celebrating how some of the most remarkable stories of scientific endeavour are fuelled by poetic imagining, and revealing how the gaps between well-worn facts are often infused with things poetical. Great stuff!'
Professor Iain Stewart