A Passion for Science

Lewis Wolpert, Author, Lewis Wolpert, Editor, Alison Richards, Editor
Lewis Wolpert, Author, Lewis Wolpert, Editor, Alison Richards, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $21.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-19-854213-1
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Exploring the conventional image of scientists as cold, humorless and superlogical, these 13 interviews from a BBC radio series reveal that science has much in common with other types of creative activity. Intuition, emotions, luck and imagination all play a part. Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould tells how ``tangential thinking''seeing connections among thingsoften counts more than deductive reasoning. Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, a leader in particle physics, discusses his Islamic background and how it leads him to seek signs of God in the natural world. Science is also just plain hard work. For instance, virologist Anthony Epstein endured years of negative results before he discovered the Epstein-Barr virus. The reader of these articulate talks incidentally learns quite a bit about the state- of-the-art in neo-Darwinism, cancer research, cosmology, catastrophe theory and neuropsychology. (August)
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