Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World

Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World


Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World ❰Epub❯ ➟ Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World Author Ted Anton – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk يعطى هذا الكتاب صورة من« بروفيل» لسبعة من الباحثين فى العلم النفعى فى مجالات أساسية تغير من عالمنا،ولقد اتبعو Seven Scientists PDF É يعطى هذا الكتاب صورة من« بروفيل» لسبعة من الباحثين فى العلم النفعى فى مجالات أساسية تغير Bold Science: Epub / من عالمنا،ولقد اتبعوا فى أبحاثهم طرائق تناول خلاقة مشاكسة نتجت فى جزء منها عن الدمج الجديد بين Science: Seven Scientists eBook ✓ مجالات لا علاقة بينها، ساهم فيها محترفون وهواة عبر العالم كله، بما يشبه كثيرًا نشأة عصر النهضة.


10 thoughts on “Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World

  1. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    How some scientists made it to the top

    The seven scientists profiled here are

    Craig Venter in genomics
    Susan Greenfield in neuroscience
    Geoffrey Marcy in astronomy
    Polly Matzinger in immunology
    Saul Perlmutter in cosmology
    Gretchen Daily in ecology
    Carl Woese in mircobiology.

    Ted Anton, who is a professor of English at DePaul, interviewed all the subjects with the possible exception of Carl Woese--at least his name alone is conspicuously absent from the acknowledgments pages. The result is a somewhat breezy, understandably limited, People magazine-like introduction to their work, personalities and lifestyle. There is an introduction and a concluding chapter.

    What we can learn from this book is that science as it is practiced today is a highly social and political enterprise where those who would make it big must learn to toot their horn. Indeed, what these seven scientists have in common, aside from their great energy, is a gift for public relations. Some, like Susan Greenfield and Gretchen Daily, have a brash, aggressive style more often seen in the world of business than in the world of science. Venter, the founder of Celera, a company with a lot of venture capital behind it as it sequences the human genome, has meshed the two worlds so completely that he is as much an entrepreneur as he is a scientist. We see here too that success in science today requires an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach as envisioned by E.O. Wilson in Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, a book twice cited by Anton. We can also see that a successful scientist has to be an effective communicator, almost an administrator, in this age of surplus information.

    Anton's style is occasionally vivid, sometimes careless and all too quickly done. It appears that he had some sort of deadline to meet along with length restrictions. In some cases he may not have followed up properly. I was annoyed at some points with partial information. For example, on page 84 he is telling the story of Polly Matzinger's accidental involvement with a Private or Sergeant Duffy, a police officer who borrows her car to do some police work. But Anton never makes it clear what happened to Duffy or whether he was a detective or not. Or, on page 85 where Matzinger, in her cocktail waitressing days, tells UC animal behaviorist Robert Schwab that she never understood why a raccoon did not impersonate a skunk to scare off predators. I didn't get that one. (How?) And Anton doesn't explain. Also, on page 136 Anton recalls a bet between Paul Ehrlich of The Population Bomb fame and economist Julian Simon, Simon betting that the prices of five commodities would not rise over a ten year period. Simon wins the bet, but Anton does not tell us what the commodities were!

    I was also displeased by some of the carelessness. Ernest Rutherford is Earnest Rutherford in the index and on page 150. Paul Ehrlich becomes Paul Erlich on page 137. On page 144 the bacterium tuberculosis is described as a virus! And on page 145 Anton is summing up Gretchen Daily's work in Costa Rica: They were getting good results, finding that even a small amount of preserved forest...will preserve significantly greater species diversity that would have been expected. The possibility of maximizing tradeoffs was there, if only one knew where to look. After I got past the typo that for than I still did not know what tradeoffs Anton was talking about. Tradeoffs between what and what? I suspect some text was cut and the remaining wording not adjusted.

    On the plus side, Anton has the ability to bring his characters to life with concrete details about their habits and their struggles, Geoff Marcy seeing a therapist for depression, Susan Greenfield giving up smoking as a marriage agreement, Polly Matzinger as a Playboy bunny who amassed $500 in parking tickets while sporting a bumper sticker reading Commit Random Acts of Kindness. He can also be effective with figures of speech, as on page 134 where he is talking about the vagaries of global warming: If done improperly, the simplest climate forecasts spaghettied into infinite complexity. Or on page 132 where he is making the point that most microbes don't culture well or easily, so that most biological work concentrated on the few weeds, like Escherichia coli, that could be studied in pure culture. Occasionally, Anton is able to catch the essence of an idea in a short expression, as on page 173 where he sums up one of Gretchen Daily's ideas: the predators of insects will count for you the number of insects in an ecosystem.

    I wonder if Anton had planned a larger book, perhaps one with photographs of the scientists in the field or in their lab, but for some reason a book that had to be abandoned. At any rate this book could have been outstanding had it been better edited and copyread, had it included photographs of the scientists (one picture here would indeed be worth a thousand words) and had Anton included short bibliographies of the published work of his seven scientists. As is, I think this might be valuable for those people thinking of starting a career in science, or for those just beginning their careers. Anton makes it clear that the talents required to rise to the top are often extraneous to the day-to-day work of the scientist, and that would be a good thing for someone just starting out to know.

    --Dennis Littrell, author of the mystery novel, “Teddy and Teri”


  2. Gary Gary says:

    Ted Anton teaches literary nonfiction in the MFA program at DePaul University. I heard him read several years ago, and I got this book because I was intrigued by Anton's focus on science. This book includes profiles of several contemporary scientists who are changing the landscape of science. It's interesting science journalism, not just for the clear explanations of the science, but also for the stories behind the science. It reminds me a lot of *The Double Helix* without James Watson's self-congratulatory tone. Anton is also the author of the award-winning book *Eros, Magic and the Murder of Professor Culianu* (1996), a fascinating investigative narrative of the mysterious murder of a popular University of Chicago.


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