Download e-book for iPad: Darwin Meets Einstein: On the Meaning of Science by Frans W. Saris

By Frans W. Saris

ISBN-10: 9089640584

ISBN-13: 9789089640581

Why do people have interaction in medical study? For a few, it’s easily a profession. Others are attracted to technology for its capability monetary rewards. And nonetheless others do it out of competitiveness—to be the 1st of their box. yet in Darwin Meets Einstein Frans W. Saris argues that during our postmodern occasions we've misplaced the that means of science—that technological know-how isn't approximately pageant, nor approximately making money, nor concerning the pleasure of discovery. technological know-how is for survival—the survival of people, the survival of life.

In this available choice of essays and columns, Saris brings jointly in dialog a couple of nice minds—Charles Darwin, Baruch Spinoza, Niko Tinbergen, Francis Bacon, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Franz Kafka, and Albert Einstein—to resolution the query: why technology? With decisions like “Diary of a Physicist,” “The medical Life,” “The mom of All Knowledge,” and “Science during the taking a look Glass of Literature,” Darwin Meets Einstein will entertain its readers and eventually inspire them to re-evaluate the meaning—and the purpose—of science.

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In the Soviet Union scientists are still living an isolated life. Stalin forced every neighbour to be a spy. In Brezhnev’s time someone you had never met before was a potential spy. This has led to unimaginable isolationism. The Cold War has isolated Russian scientists from the West, but what is worse: the Communist party, the system, has alienated Russian scientists from each other. That still has not changed and this became clear during our conference in Leningrad. 44 F R A N S W. S A R I S A meeting had been organized, sponsored by the European Physical Society, on the physics and technology of semiconductors, the material needed to make computer chips.

If this were true it is hard to understand why materials are not shattered to pieces completely. Why should the solid and liquid phase co-exist at the melting point? At the melting temperature it is as if the fluid has to nucleate somewhere and then grow further. This indicates, according to some physicists, that at the nucleation sites an extraordinary concentration of crystal defects is created. One may think of vacancies or interstitial atoms. However, the experimentally determined concentration of such defects is so low that they cannot possibly play a serious role.

Yet the alarm went off as soon as he stepped in front of the monitor. So he also had to take off his underwear and give it to them, but again no radiation was detected. When he stood naked in front of the health surveyors and they skimmed the detector over his body it turned out his penis was contaminated with radioactivity. Roger worked in the plutonium laboratory at the institute where I worked as a young postdoc. He was world-famous for his knowledge and notorious for his negligence. At the end of the day before he left the lab he had not washed his hands and had not monitored them.

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Darwin Meets Einstein: On the Meaning of Science by Frans W. Saris

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