Prematurity in Scientific Discovery : On Resistance and Neglect

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Prematurity in Scientific Discovery : On Resistance and Neglect

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  • 製本 Hardcover:ハードカバー版
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9780520231061
  • DDC分類 509

Full Description


For centuries, observers have noted the many obstacles to intellectual change in science. In a much-discussed paper published in "Scientific American" in 1972, molecular biologist Gunther Stent proposed an explicit criterion for one kind of obstacle to scientific discovery. He denoted a claim or hypothesis as "premature" if its implications cannot be connected to canonical knowledge by a simple series of logical steps. Further, Stent suggested that it was appropriate for the scientific community to ignore such hypotheses so that it would not be overwhelmed by vast numbers of false leads. In this volume, eminent scientists, physicians, historians, social scientists, and philosophers respond to Stent's thesis.

Table of Contents

        List of Figures and Tables                 xi
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
List of Contributors xix
PART ONE Introduction
A Background to Prematurity and Resistance to 3 (19)
``Discovery''
Ernest B. Hook
Prematurity in Scientific Discovery 22 (15)
Gunther S. Stent
PART TWO Observer and Participant Accounts
Prematurity, Nuclear Fission, and the 37 (9)
Transuranium Actinide Elements
Glenn T. Seaborg
Resistance to Change and New Ideas in 46 (13)
Physics: A Personal Perspective
Charles H. Townes
The Timeliness of the Discoveries of the 59 (11)
Three Modes of Gene Transfer in Bacteria
Norton D. Zinder
Scotoma: Forgetting and Neglect in Science 70 (17)
Oliver Sacks
PART THREE Historical Perspectives
SECTION A: Relatively Unproblematic Examples
Prematurity and Delay in the Prevention of 87 (5)
Scurvy
Kenneth F. Carpenter
A Triptych to Serendip: Prematurity and 92 (17)
Resistance to Discovery in the Earth Sciences
William Glen
Theories of an Expanding Universe: 109 (15)
Implications of Their Reception for the
Concept of Scientific Prematurity
Norriss S. Hetherington
Interdisciplinary Dissonance and Prematurity: 124 (27)
Ida Noddack's Suggestion of Nuclear Fission
Ernest B. Hook
SECTION B: Disputable Cases
Michael Polanyi's Theory of Surface 151 (13)
Adsorption: How Premature?
Mary Jo Nye
Prematurity and the Dynamics of Scientific 164 (11)
Change
Frederic L. Holmes
Barbara McClintock's Controlling Elements: 175 (25)
Premature Discovery or Stillborn Theory?
Nathaniel C. Comfort
The Work of Joseph Adams and Archibald 200 (13)
Garrod: Possible Examples of Prematurity in
Human Genetics
Arno G. Motulsky
PART FOUR Natural Selection and Evolution from
the Perspective of Prematurity
The Prematurity of Darwin's Theory of Natural 213 (26)
Selection
Michael Ruse
Prematurity, Evolutionary Biology, and the 239 (14)
Historical Sciences
Michael T. Ghiselin
PART FIVE Perspectives from the Vantage Point
of the Social Sciences
The Prematurity of ``Prematurity'' in 253 (7)
Political Science
George Von der Muhll
The Impact and Fate of Gunther Stent's 260 (20)
Prematurity Thesis
Lawrence H. Stern
Premature Discovery Is Failure of 280 (15)
Intersection among Social Worlds
Elihu M. Gerson
PART SIX Philosophical Perspectives
Fleck, Kuhn, and Stent: Loose Reflections on 295 (11)
the Notion of Prematurity
Ilana Lowy
The Concept of Prematurity and the Philosophy 306 (23)
of Science
Martin Jones
PART SEVEN Closing Considerations
Prtmaturity and Promise: Why Was Stent's 329 (13)
Notion of Prematurity Itself So Premature?
David L. Hull
Reflections on Hull's Remarks 342 (4)
Gonzalo Munevar
Comments 346 (8)
Gunther S .Stent
Extensions and Complexities: In Defense of 354 (13)
Prematurity in Scientific Discovery
Ernest B. Hook
Index 367