A personal note

People look at Lens on Leeuwenhoek and ask, "Are you going to write a book?"

Many of them haven't thought it through. An ink on paper book about an obscure Dutch scientist who has been dead for three hundred years would have ... what? A hundred thousand words, a dozen or so images, and an index at the back. It would cost a hundred dollars and maybe a thousand copies would end up on public library shelves around the world and a couple hundred more in personal libraries. I am very happy that world is disappearing. These days, if you don't want something to be read very much, print it on paper.

Others who ask that question aren't referring to ink on paper. They look at the bits of information displayed here and ask whether I'm going to bring it all together in a sustained fashion, like a 15,000 word "chapter".

This is a very different question and one that has a clear answer: no. I am not going to write such a book, though I have written some traditional academic articles (see Sources below). For Lens on Leeuwenhoek, I have a thesis, an argument, a point of view, and points to make. Leeuwenhoek was careful to distinguish empirical observation from inferential thinking or speculation. I am equally careful to distinguish the documented facts from my attempts to synthesize and explain them. And I am very comfortable doing so in small chunks, linked non-linearly (a "web"), so that you can explore, find your own way.

Lens on Leeuwenhoek does something that book publishers can't economically or technologically do: give you access to some of the voluminous source material about Leeuwenhoek, all in one place, full of internal cross-links. With lots and lots of pictures. For free. Enjoy!