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By Eric Scerri

In his most up-to-date publication, Eric Scerri offers a very unique account of the character of medical growth. It contains a holistic and unified method within which technological know-how is visible as a dwelling and evolving unmarried organism. rather than medical revolutions that includes exceedingly talented contributors, Scerri argues that the "little humans" give a contribution up to the "heroes" of technological know-how. to do that he examines seven case stories of just about unknown chemists and physicists within the early twentieth century quest to find the constitution of the atom. They comprise the beginner scientist Anton van den Broek who pioneered the thought of atomic quantity in addition to Edmund Stoner a then physics graduate scholar who supplied the seed for Pauli's Exclusion precept. one other case is the physicist John Nicholson who's nearly unknown and but used to be the 1st to suggest the idea of quantization of angular momentum that was once quickly positioned to solid use by way of Niels Bohr.

Instead of targeting the good judgment and rationality of technology, Scerri elevates the function of trial and mistake and a number of discovery and strikes past the idea of clinical advancements being wrong or right. whereas criticizing Thomas Kuhn's concept of medical revolutions he concurs with Kuhn that technological know-how isn't drawn in the direction of an exterior fact yet is quite pushed from inside of. The publication will brighten up the long-standing debate at the nature of technological know-how, which has more and more shied clear of the massive query of "what is science?"

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Van den Broek was a lawyer and amateur scientist who was equally well versed in chemistry and physics. As I will argue, the originality of his contribution lay in using chemical criteria having to do with the periodic system rather than purely physical arguments. Bury, another chemist, was based at a provincial university in Wales and made contributions that few chemists have ever heard of. I believe that these differences are not so important to my project, as I will be explaining in due course.

The purpose of this book is radical in yet another respect. I will argue that two leading 20th-century philosophers of science have done harm to the history of science by emphasizing discontinuity and swift revolutions. 8 But as Kuhn himself also concedes, the more one looks at the details of scientific episodes the more one sees precursors, near misses, half-digested premonitions, and so on. The view of science that I support is an organic one in which scientific knowledge is viewed as one interconnected organism, a living Gaia-like creature possessing many tentacles, branches, and sub-branches.

Here is where the Nicholsons, van den Broeks, and Stoners come into the picture as equal players. And by calling this entity SciGaia I hope to emphasize the essential unity and living organic nature of scientific development that is rather 9 A Ta l e o f S e v e n S c i e n t i sts different from the prevailing syntactic or semantic approaches to ­scientific theories. The purpose of this book is radical in yet another respect. I will argue that two leading 20th-century philosophers of science have done harm to the history of science by emphasizing discontinuity and swift revolutions.

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