On Understanding Science: An Historical Approach (The Terry Lectures Series)
On Understanding Science: An Historical Approach (The Terry Lectures Series)
On Understanding Science: An Historical Approach (The Terry Lectures Series)
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Type: eBook
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Page Count: 164
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0300136552
ISBN-13: 9780300136555
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On Understanding Science: An Historical Approach (The Terry Lectures Series) pdf


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Conant writes in the year 1946. He expresses deep concern about the atomic bomb whose massive destructive power had been demonstrated the year befor. At the same time he talks about the secret medical research going on in this time. Research on penicillin, on anti-malarial drugs, on the ue of blood plasma and considers how much these development mean for the future of mankind. He quotes Emerson regarding the law of compensation, and suggests we might think of the atomic bomb as a kind of price we must pay and be compensated for by the medical developments. But then he says he wishes in this book to discuss science 'neither as a benign or a malignant activity of man, but as a process of unveiling many things , all of which have 'cracks.' In this regard his work will be a work which focuses on 'education' in science, and on the best ways of achieving this. Conant opens with a chapter on the 'Scientific Education of the Layman' . He then writes a chapter called 'Illustrations from the 17th century "Touching the Spring of the Air" His next chapter also provides specific examples of scientific work. "Illustrations from the 18th century concerning Electricity and Combustion" He then closes with a chapter on 'Certain Principles of the Tactics and Strategy of Science'.

Conant operates here as guide to the Culture as a whole which he is not alone in regarding as deficient in science education and enthusiasm. In this last chapter he discusses concepts that evolve from Experimentation, and which are fruitful of new experiments and observations. He also discusses the way "significant observations are the results of controlled experiments." He then discusses how new techniques emerge in the course of this experiment.

Conant aims to show how Science works and at the same time appeal to American families to givc more time to Science.

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