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Great Feuds in Science
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Table of Contents

Urban VIII versus Galileo: An Unequal Contest. Wallis versus Hobbes: Squaring the Circle. Newton versus Leibniz: A Clash of Titans. Voltaire versus Needham: The Generation Controversy. Darwin's Bulldog versus Soapy Sam: Evolution Wars. Lord Kelvin versus Geologists and Biologists: The Age of the Earth. Cope versus Marsh: The Fossil Feud. Wegener versus Everybody: Continental Drift. Johanson versus the Leakeys: The Missing Link. Derek Freeman versus Margaret Mead: Nature versus Nurture. Epilogue. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

Hal Hellman is the internationally acclaimed author of 26 popular science books, including the six-book series The World of the Future. He has also written science articles for such publications as the New York Times, Omni, Reader's Digest, Psychology Today, and Geo.

Reviews

Society has always put great scientists on pedestals - their ideas have the ability to effect dramatic changes in the way we see and live in our world. In this handsomely produced book (lovely paper, beautiful jacket), Hal Hellman investigates `ten of the liveliest disputes ever' in the history of science, starting with the 17th-century feud between Galileo and Pope Urban VIII, and ending in contemporary times with the dispute between Derek Freeman and Margaret Mead in one version of the `nature versus nurture' issue. The common factor in all the debates featured is that regardless of their intellectual brilliance, geniuses can be a prickly lot; personal rivalry, envy, ambition, intrigue and often greed, as well as the social, political and moral climate of the times, always impinge on `pure' scientific reason. The very title of this book gives an indication of its intended appeal to a wide audience. Hellman is a populariser, with a rambling style and colloquial tone that are somewhat at odds with the often fascinating details and perceptive analysis. There's a shorter, sharper book in here waiting to get out. Sally Madsen is a bookseller at Readings, Carlton (Vic). C. 1998 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

In his book, Hellman "reveals just how human scientists can be."--San Diego Union-Tribune

Ranging from Galileo vs. Pope Urban VIII to Derek Freeman vs. Margaret Mead, this compilation of great scientific feuds covers an interesting variety of personalities as well as subject matter. Proceeding in chronological order, chapter by chapter, science writer Hellman aims to show the human side of scientists, including all their petty frailties. Some of the feuds were more constructive than others; some seemed to center on personality clashes; collectively, they demonstrate that over the centuries science has shown little ability to acknowledge changing interpretations or newly calculated data without falling into conflict. Hellman certainly raises some questions on style in science, but it would have been even more worthwhile if he had tried to derive some theme from these confrontations instead of simply demonstrating that scientists can be just as human as the rest of us. For larger popular science collections.‘Hilary Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA

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