The march of science has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. In "Eurekas and Euphorias, " Gratzer captures the human face of discovery as he relates many intriguing tales of scientific adventures ...
The march of science has been marked through the years by episodes of drama and comedy, of failure as well as triumph, by outrageous strokes of luck, deserved and undeserved, and sometimes by human tragedy. In "Eurekas and Euphorias, " Gratzer captures the human face of discovery as he relates many intriguing tales of scientific adventures spanning over two thousand years.
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-11-01 Sifting through centuries of scientific ephemera, biophysicist Gratzer uncovers what may be the real history of science, revealed not by its formal narratives but by anecdotes of discovery shared over cups of coffee and pints of beer. The resulting collection of almost 200 tales is a browser's delight, an informal history featuring appealing quotes from memoirs, biographies and reports and candid images of scientists at work. Gratzer, author of The Undergrowth of Science, acknowledges that he cannot verify the truth of each account (though he includes extremely reliable sources for most) and cheerfully notes that he includes reports he feels "deserve to be true." Luminaries from polymathic Archimedes, whom Grazter credits with "the first eureka," to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who attributed his scientific inspiration to a Cornell University dining hall plate, are shown in all their brilliant (and sometimes nasty) humanity. Not surprisingly, many of science's greatest moments turn out to be the result of stereotypical absentmindedness, and Gratzer reports these incidents with affectionate glee. While some of the material is familiar, readers at all levels of scientific literacy will find fresh, witty and sometimes moving glimpses into the reality of scientific endeavor. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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