They say that patience is a virtue, but the following eight inventions prove that laziness, slovenliness, clumsiness and pure stupidity can be virtues, too. Anesthesia Mistake Leading to Discovery: Recreational drug use Lesson Learned: Too much of a good thing can sometimes be, well, a good thing Nitrous oxide was discovered inbut for decades the gas was considered no more than a party toy.
They are potted histories that show how these geniuses proved one idea or another beyond a shadow of a doubt. This book will tell you, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story: The general overview is--the story is more complicated than you learned. That in some cases scientists massaged numbers of dismissed controverting data in the service of promoting their ideas: Nobody follows it exactly.
Science is messier than that. The second section looks not at scientists burnishing their data, but their reputations and historians and other commentators who have similarly burnished the reputations of particular authors.
Sometimes, as in the case of Joseph Lister and Charles Best, credit is wrongly attributed because one particular scientist rewrites the history of his own work, or elbows out of remembrance the work of others.
Sometimes it is later scientists who are looking for a founding father who reinterpret the original work in a weird way--that was the case of Gregor Mendel.
Later scientists, though, who were interested in transmission genetics resurrected his work.
A similar story is told about Darwin, who was a much more complex thinker than his interpreters often allowed. The most complicated case is Huxley, who did promote himself and his accomplishments beyond what they really did, and who had supporters who dismissed his opponents as imbeciles.
But what was really going on was less than a battle between theology and science--as it has so often been portrayed--but a professional battle: None of these stories should be surprising to anyone with even the slightest experience in the history of science.
The references are as expected--Geison on Pasteur, Olby on Mendel, etc. My only complaint is that Waller is a bit too fond of wordplay, to the point that occasionally one runs across a An excellent book of not only history of science but philosophy of science.
My only complaint is that Waller is a bit too fond of wordplay, to the point that occasionally one runs across a sentence that not only elicits a groan but one that actively seems awkward.
Still, a book that is lucid, illuminating, and well-written; a combination worth recommending. Essential reading for any self-professed scientist or sceptic.
Waller reaffirms the validity of the scientific method whilst acknowledging that individual scientists are just as human as the next person with the capacity to lie, cheat and exaggerate for egoistic purposes.
The book also touches upon the philosophy of history as well as religion and its relationship to science.
Jul 14, Jani-Petri rated it really liked it Very good book on the real history of science with warts and all. Demolishes many standard hero myths of scientific progress and highlights the role played by the footsoldiers of science as well the role of those less self-centered than the hero geniuses of usual stories.
Must read for anyone interested on the history of science. Dec 26, Mikhail Ignatev rated it it was ok,Ten Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction The innovators behind objects like the cellphone or the helicopter took inspiration from works like “Star Trek” and War of the Worlds.
John Boyd. " storytelling, usually imaginative as distinct from realistic fiction, which poses the effects of current or extrapolated scientific discoveries, or a single discovery, on . Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.
10 Medical Breakthroughs That Sound Like Science Fiction. These high-tech innovations just might save your life the Cleveland Clinic has selected 10 technologies and discoveries that are.
The eureka effect (also known as the Aha! moment or eureka moment) refers to the common human experience of suddenly understanding a previously incomprehensible problem or srmvision.com research describes the Aha! effect (also known as insight or epiphany) as a memory advantage, but conflicting results exist as to where exactly it occurs in the brain, and it is difficult to predict under what.
NSF's mission is to advance the progress of science, a mission accomplished by funding proposals for research and education made by scientists, engineers, and educators from across the country.