Good Seeing:: A Century of Science at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1902-2002

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National Academies Press, Dec 12, 2001 - Science - 256 pages
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Good Seeing presents a readable, inspiring history of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, from its founding in 1902, through the emergence of "big science" after World War II, to the institution's role in addressing the major science questions of the 21st century.

Authors James Refil and Margaret Hindle Hazen open their narrative with the story of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish bobbin boy who used his ingenuity to build a fortune in industrial America-and then turned his energy to giving that fortune away.

The book then goes on to chronicle the groundbreaking work accomplished by the various Carnegie departments, tracing their growth and change as the frontiers of science expanded through the decades. And it looks at Carnegie's influence on the mechanisms of science funding, the institution's early support of ecology, and the building of the world's leading astronomical observatories.

The authors offer fascinating glimpses into the lives of science giants Barbara McClintock, George Ellery Hale, Edwin Hubble, Vera Rubin, Alfred Kidder-and the legendary Vannevar Bush, Institution President from 1939-1955.

Lavishly illustrated with historical photos and drawings, this celebration of the Carnegie Institution's century of discovery will be a delightful read for scientists, science advocates, and students of American science leadership.

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About the author (2001)

James Trefil was born in Chicago and educated at the University of Illinois, Oxford University, and Stanford University, where he earned a Ph.D. in physics. Currently Clarence H. Robinson Professor of physics at George Mason University, he is among the well-respected scientists who have the skill to translate physics for the general reader into prose worthy of an English major. For example, his "meditation trilogy," described below, recounts interesting examples, clear explanations, and the wonder of science in Trefil's beautiful and lively language.

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