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The dramatic stories of ten historic feuds: How they altered the course of discovery-and shaped the modern world
Hall Hellman tells the lively stories of ten of the most outrageous and intriguing disputes from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Bringing the cataclysmic clash of ideas and personalities to colorful life, Hellman explores both the science and the spirit of the times. Along the way, he reveals that scientific feuds are fueled not only by the purest of intellectual disagreements, but also by intransigence, ambition, jealousy, politics, faith, and the irresistible human urge to be right.
Unusual insight into the development of science . . . I was excited by this book and enthusiastically recommend it to general as well as scientific audiences. -American Scientist
Hellman has assembled a series of entertaining tales. . . . many fine examples of heady invective without parallel in our time. -Nature
An entertaining and informative account of the unusual personalities and sometimes bitter rivalries of some of the world's greatest scientific minds. -Publishers Weekly
A fascinating new book which details some of the most famous disputes of the ages.-Courier Mail
Dry science history turns into entertaining reading without sacrificing historical accuracy. -The Christchurch Press
Great Feuds in Science is wonderful history, as the reader learns how scientists had to fight with religious leaders and other scientists to get their work recognized, accepted, and even get the credit for it! -Bookviews
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"The facts, even the theories, are history. It is the process that is the living science; that's what makes the activity exciting to those who practice it," science writer Hal Hellman observes. "Often, however, the process of scientific discovery is charged with emotion.... Holders of an earlier idea may not give it up gladly." Hellman describes some of the most emotional, dramatic, and personal debates in scientific history. He rounds up the usual suspects--Galileo versus the pope, Newton versus Leibniz, Cope versus Marsh, evolution versus Creation--but also includes less well known, but no less interesting, conflicts: Wallis versus Hobbes on squaring the circle, Voltaire versus Needham on embryos. And he boldly includes two conflicts in which (some) of the combatants are still alive: Don Johanson versus the Leakeys on human origins and Derek Freeman versus the ghost of Margaret Mead on Samoa. Never a dull moment. --Mary Ellen CurtinFrom the Publisher:
The dramatic stories of historic feuds in science and how they altered the course of discovery and helped to shape the modern world. Some of the biggest breakthroughs in science have caused battles that have raged over decades, even centuries. Great Feuds in Science tells the fascinating stories of 14 of the most heated disputes in the history of science, from the 17th through the 20th centuries. It introduces readers to the major players and the times they lived in, explains the scientific principles involved, and shows how such controversies are not only typical, but often necessary to the progress of science.
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