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By John Waller

"Fabulous technology unearths lots of those findings to the final reader for the 1st time. usually startling and consistently enchanting, they convey that a few of our most vital medical theories have been at first authorized in basic terms simply because well-known scientists fudged info, pulled rank, or have been propped up by means of spiritual and political elites. awesome case-studies exhibit that technological know-how isn't really regularly pushed on by means of natural rationality: human elements can play no less than as significant a task within the starting place and reception of medical principles. Even poorly attested theories can achieve frequent recognition if recommend by way of scientists with adequate clout. great technology restores to the background of technology its complicated personalities, sour rivalries, and extreme human dramas which until eventually lately were overlain through myths and misconceptions.

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Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery

"Fabulous technological know-how finds a lot of those findings to the overall reader for the 1st time. usually startling and constantly mesmerizing, they express that a few of our most vital medical theories have been at the beginning authorized in simple terms simply because recognized scientists fudged information, pulled rank, or have been propped up via spiritual and political elites.

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Additional resources for Fabulous Science: Fact and Fiction in the History of Scientific Discovery

Example text

The yeast solutions used by Pasteur were unlikely to contain heatresistant bacteria, but this was not the case with potash or hay. In fact, it is almost certain that Pouchet’s hay was infected with the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. This amazing bacterium can survive extremely high temperatures and will increase in numbers rapidly on exposure to oxygen. The sterilizing       precautions of neither Pasteur nor Pouchet could eradicate these tenacious organisms.

Few hero-makers can avoid the temptation of claiming that their heroes had to fight ignorant prejudice before having their ideas accepted. Pasteur’s hagiographers are no exception. This fairly standard example is from Frank Ashall’s Remarkable Discoverers (): In the face of opposition to his ideas, [Pasteur] eventually persuaded the French Academy of Science to appoint a committee to repeat his experiments so that they could be verified. His confidence in his own data was unfailing, whereas his opponents withdrew their opposition, obviously because of their lack of certainty in their own data.

10, an alarming  per cent outside of his normal range and non-divisible by his typical e value. It is exasperatingly hard to find an explanation for this score, and Millikan offered none. According to modern physicists, contamination with dust could not have produced such a discrepancy. Nor does there seem much likelihood that his batteries—and their various backups—simultaneously malfunctioned. What happened with this drop       remains a mystery but it was not one that Millikan chose to air.

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