The Scientist as Rebel

The Scientist as Rebel

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
An illuminating collection of essays by an award-winning scientist whom the London Times calls “one of the world’s most original minds.”

From Galileo to today’s amateur astronomers, scientists have been rebels, writes Freeman Dyson. Like artists and poets, they are free spirits who resist the restrictions their cultures impose on them. In their pursuit of Nature’s truths, they are guided as much by imagination as by reason, and their greatest theories have the uniqueness and beauty of great works of art.

Dyson argues that the best way to understand science is by understanding those who practice it. He tells stories of scientists at work, ranging from Isaac Newton’s absorption in physics, alchemy, theology, and politics, to Ernest Rutherford’s discovery of the structure of the atom, to Albert Einstein’s stubborn hostility to the idea of black holes. His descriptions of brilliant physicists like Edward Teller and Richard Feynman are enlivened by his own reminiscences of them. He looks with a skeptical eye at fashionable scientific fads and fantasies, and speculates on the future of climate prediction, genetic engineering, the colonization of space, and the possibility that paranormal phenomena may exist yet not be scientifically verifiable.

Dyson also looks beyond particular scientific questions to reflect on broader philosophical issues, such as the limits of reductionism, the morality of strategic bombing and nuclear weapons, the preservation of the environment, and the relationship between science and religion. These essays, by a distinguished physicist who is also a lovely writer, offer informed insights into the history of science and fresh perspectives on contentious current debates about science, ethics, and faith.

Baker & Taylor
Collects essays on scientists and their working practices, including Edward Teller, Isaac Newton, and J. Robert Oppemheimer.

Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, 2006
ISBN: 9781590172162
1590172167
Branch Call Number: 500 DYS
Characteristics: xvi, 360 p. ; 22 cm

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t
tocch101
Aug 24, 2013

A great read that adds many interesting ideas on what it means to be a scientist and the role that they supply. Fascinating points of history all touched upon.

t
Teyfor8Wyoma
Aug 26, 2010

An interesting read, but it is not one that you can read before going to bed.

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Teyfor8Wyoma
Aug 26, 2010

Teyfor8Wyoma thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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