For more than a century, science has cultivated a sober public image for itself. But as best-selling author Michael Brooks explains, the truth is very different: many of our most successful scientists have more in common with libertines than librarians.
This thrilling exploration of some of the greatest breakthroughs in science reveals the extreme lengths some scientists go to in order to make their theories public. Fraud, suppressing evidence, and unethical or reckless PR games are sometimes necessary to bring the best and most brilliant discoveries to the world's attention. Inspiration can come from the most unorthodox of places, and Brooks introduces us to Nobel laureates who get their ideas through drugs, dreams, and hallucinations.
Science is a highly competitive and ruthless discipline, and only it’s most determined and passionate practitioners make headlines - and history. To succeed, knowledge must be pursued by any means: in science, anything goes.
©2012 Michael Brooks (P)2012 Audible Ltd
An interesting book about some of the biggest scientific minds and their achievements both in science and in self-promotion (or lack thereof). I especially liked the discussion on ethics boards and their place in science today, as well as the peer-review system. To put some of the stories of research individuals and teams into the context of the environments that they operated in, was entertaining as well as thought provoking. Read very well too!
I only gave this one star because I can't give it zero. The author makes a weak attempt at "shaking the foundations of science," but to me this read like the essay of someone who is a little ticked off that he couldn't make it as a professor.
In the first chapter he makes the assertion that Apollo astronauts brought a camera to the moon and took the "earth-rise" picture directly because some hippie started a campaign about needing to see a picture of the earth. Are we really to believe that NASA had otherwise planned on sending people to the moon without a camera?
He goes on and on about how various scientists take psychedelic and other drugs and claim it enhances their scientific productivity.
I couldn't make it any further. Save your money and your time.
Okay, this book is all about the airs that science has put on since WWII. True, these airs have serve to put science on a pedestal and potentially highten its credibility, but it has been at the expense of its applicability.
Divulging and presenting the irregularities and controversies of science serves to both humanize the field and reveal that far from a preserve of esoteric knowledge. Science, regardless of its presence in academia or industry, is just as competitive as any other field of endeavor.
The stories are compelling, the performance is strong, and the message is clear. Science can no longer play it safe. Its future, and the future for all of us, depends on taking chances.
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