A RANDOM WALK IN SCIENCE by R. L. Weber

A RANDOM WALK IN SCIENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An anthology of articles on the foibles of science -- pure and applied -- and the follies of scientists, written mostly by themselves (heavy on the physicists). Most of the pieces have been gathered from publications such as the American Journal of Physics, but there are excerpts from Aristophanes, Swift, Goethe and Carroll. Many demonstrate a pungent capacity for self-parody, as in ""The High Energy Physics Coloring Book"" or ""The Uses of Fallacy"" (""in reductio ad nauseum the lecturer's aim is to get everyone in the class asleep and not taking notes""). Occasionally, the jokes are lead balloons (""'What is v?' 'Planck's constant.' 'And h?' 'The length of the plank'""), and one sometimes gets the impression that scientists are patting each other on the back for having a sense of humor. A few of the pieces make serious points about the practices of researchers. An engaging ""play of intellectual high spirits, or high intellectual spirits,"" revealing the pleasant, comic madness of the men in white coats.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1974
ISBN: 0750306491
Publisher: Crane, Russak