Leaps in the Dark : The making of scientific reputations: The making of scientific reputations

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Oxford University Press, UK, Oct 28, 2004 - Science - 304 pages
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In Leaps in the Dark, John Waller presents another collection of revelations from the world of science. He considers experiments in which scientists' perceptions were not perhaps as keen as they might have claimed in retrospect; he investigates the jealousy and opposition that scientific ideas can provoke; he celebrates the scientists who were wrong, but for very good reasons; and he demonstrates how national interest can affect scientists and their theories. The result is an entertaining and highly readable re-examination of scientific discoveries and reputations from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. - ;In Leaps in the Dark, John Waller presents another collection of revelations from the world of science. He considers experiments in which the scientists' awareness was not perhaps as keen as they might have claimed in retrospect; he investigates the jealousy and opposition that scientific ideas can provoke; he celebrates the scientists who were wrong, but for very good reasons; and he demonstrates how national interest can affect scientists and their theories. The result is an entertaining and highly readable re-examination of scientific discoveries and reputations from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. The tales in Leaps in the Dark range across a wide historical field, from a seventeenth-century witch-finder, Joseph Glanvill, to Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the self-proclaimed 'Father of radar'. Each story underscores the rich, fascinating complexity of scientific discovery. Writing in a clear and engaging style, and skilfully weaving history in with the science, John Waller brings these scientists to life, illustrating how their work and their discoveries influenced their careers and the wider world around them. - ;Leaps in the Dark is a good read, and ought to generate much healthy debate. - Nature

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User Review  - name99 - LibraryThing

A collection of essays on various past scientists concentrating specifically on the mismatch between their reputations and what they actually did. Interesting in the way that the debunking of accepted wisdom usually is. Read full review

About the author (2004)


Dr. John Waller is Lecturer in the History of Medicine and Biology at the Centre for the Study of Health and Society and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne. His previous books for a popular readership, The Discovery of the Germ (Icon Books, 2002) and Fabulous Science (Oxford University Press, 2002, now available in paperback) have been widely and favorably reviewed.

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