The Scientist as Rebel (New York Review Books (Paperback))

The Scientist as Rebel (New York Review Books (Paperback))

Freeman Dyson


From Galileo to today’s novice astronomers, scientists were rebels, writes Freeman Dyson. Like artists and poets, they're unfastened spirits who withstand the constraints their cultures impose on them. of their pursuit of nature’s truths, they're guided as a lot by way of mind's eye as by means of cause, and their maximum theories have the distinctiveness and sweetness of serious works of art.

Dyson argues that tips to comprehend technological know-how is via figuring out those that perform it. He tells tales of scientists at paintings, starting from Isaac Newton’s absorption in physics, alchemy, theology, and politics, to Ernest Rutherford’s discovery of the constitution of the atom, to Albert Einstein’s obdurate hostility to the assumption of black holes. His descriptions of incredible physicists like Edward Teller and Richard Feynman are enlivened via his personal recollections of them. He seems with a skeptical eye at trendy medical fads and fantasies, and speculates at the way forward for weather prediction, genetic engineering, the colonization of area, and the prospect that paranormal phenomena could exist but now not be scientifically verifiable.

Dyson additionally seems to be past specific clinical inquiries to give some thought to broader philosophical matters, akin to the boundaries of reductionism, the morality of strategic bombing and nuclear guns, the upkeep of our environment, and the dating among technology and faith. those essays, by way of a special physicist who's additionally a prolific author, supply proficient insights into the background of technology and clean views on contentious present debates approximately technological know-how, ethics, and faith.

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