The Thinkers (Book)

A Book illustrated by Zachary Pullen, written by Brad Herzog. With an introduction by Ira Flatow.

While this may appear to be a book about remarkable people, it is actually about the potential of the human mind.

THE THINKERS celebrates the prospect of looking up through a telescope or down through a microscope and discovering previously undiscovered wonders. It rejoices in the visionaries who noticed a need and conjured up an enduring solution, or who turned the germ of an idea into a seminal concept, or who obsessively tinkered until they arrived at an invention that changed the world.

This isn't your parent's science book...

And that’s a good thing. For too many years, some of the most important contributors to the march of science have been left out of the storytelling. I’ve read tons of science books in my decades-long love affair with science and technology. And I’ve found two things to be true. Reading the short biographies and sparkling achievements of historical thinkers and tinkerers is a constant reminder of why I started reading science books when I was a kid and why I chose science journalism as my career: I loved discovering how the world works and how the winding paths of discovery are like reading a good detective story.

But secondly, unfortunately, the annals of science are woefully incomplete and inaccurate: The contributions of women, minorities, and people of non-western cultures have been consistently left out of the history and communication of science. Ask someone in this country to name a great thinker or inventor and they may rattle off a list of white, western men from Edison to Einstein. Ask for a female scientist and the list gets a lot shorter: Marie Curie. Period. Ask for a person of color and after a long pause it’s George Washington Carver. As for a foreign name? Save for Curie, only thousand-year-old figures like da Vinci or the Greek philosophers come to mind.

The pages of this book are filled with enlightening characters and ideas and fascinating people from all over the world whom you’ve never heard of. Sure Curie, Einstein, and Edison and DaVinci are here, too. But so is Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, lauded by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as the greatest scientist of modern India. And Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, the “First Lady of Physics.”

You’ll discover when you read the remarkable stories of these thinkers that science and knowledge do not run in a straight line. One success does not guarantee another. The road is filled with failure. Personal and professional. Those scientists who triumph do so, many times, after working in obscurity or battling long odds. Whether it’s racial, gender, economic or just plain stupidity.

I’m very happy to add this long overdue compilation (and its wonderful illustrations) to my collection of fun, light-bulb-moment reading. See if you agree.

Ira Flatow
Veteran Public Radio and TV science journalist

What people are saying about the Thinkers Book:


The illustrations are so captivating!


I love reading the stories to my girls, they each get to pick a Thinker out of the painting, and we learn about a new person each night.


Very cool illustrations and a treasure trove of scientists, including fantastic women, who have shaped science in various ways; a nice read and a heirloom for children and adults of all ages.

Stacey P.

I wish we had a book like this growing up! The writing and illustrations are wonderful. Definitely a book for all generations to enjoy!

Jen S.

Other Items Available

Thinkers Bundle

Thinkers Bundle

Looking for a great book this holiday season? Well do we have the book for you!

Our book, "The Thinkers" will immerse you in vivid imagery and storytelling of over 60 of history's greatest minds.

Starting on Black Friday through the end of the year, give the gift of The Thinkers Bundle for 80.95+tax that includes:

  • 2023 calendar with great activities to try at home (regularly $20)
  • The Thinkers puzzle (regularly $29)
  • Caricature print (regularly $5)
  • The Thinkers book (regularly $35.95)

Round your total up to $100 and be entered in our Winter Warmth Raffle!

Mock Up

Thinkers 2023 Calendar Pre-Order

Pre-Order your Thinkers calendar now before December 5th, and get $5 off your purchase!

Our Thinkers Calendar includes a dozen interactive experiments designed to engage the entire family all year-long with Science!

Display your love for Science in your home or office with our featured Thinkers from The Thinkers book.

The Thinkers 6x12 162piece rev2 1

Thinkers Puzzle

Beautiful 162 piece hardwood puzzle featuring the entire Thinkers painting

The Thinkers Book - Gallery Print

Thinkers Book Cover - Canvas Gallery Print (22.75" x 45.5") *

A canvas reproduction of The Thinkers book cover. Canvas gallery wrap, 22.75" by 44.5"

* This item is pick-up only.

The Thinkers Book - Gallery Print

Thinkers Book Cover - Unmounted Canvas Print *

A canvas reproduction of The Thinkers book cover. Unmounted canvas.

* This item is currently pick-up only.