Prometheans In The Lab

Author: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Publisher: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
ISBN: 9780071407953
Size: 11.20 MB
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Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein and other great physicists and biologists are household names, but the great chemists have received little recognition. Yet it could be argued that chemistry, more than any other scientific discipline, has made the modern world possible, largely through products that we take for granted. In the style of the biology classic, The Microbe Hunters, acclaimed science writer Sharon Bertsch McGrayne tells the history of the chemical revolution through the lives of the men who created it. We don't recognize their names, but their legacy is all around us. Before Nicholas LeBlanc discovered the chemical process for making washing soda in the early 1800s, soap was a highly taxed luxury item, and now it's something we use many times everyday without a second thought. Without chemical fertilizer there might have been worldwide starvation in the mid 1900s. Even something as simple as affordable dyes, which brought bright colorful clothing to the masses and democratized fashion, is given full attention. An even-handed account, Prometheans in the Lab describes not only the upside of each pivotal discovery, but also the oftentimes devastating unforeseen effects the

Prometheans In The Lab

Author: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
ISBN: 9780071350075
Size: 59.88 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein and other great physicists and biologists are household names, but the great chemists have recieved little recognition. Yet it could be argued that chemistry, more than andy other scientific discipline, has made the modern world possible, largely through products that we take for granted.

Nobel Prize Women In Science

Author: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press
ISBN: 0309072700
Size: 76.93 MB
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Since 1901 there have been over three hundred recipients of the Nobel Prize in the sciences. Only ten of them -- about 3 percent -- have been women. Why? In this updated version of Nobel Prize Women in Science, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores the reasons for this astonishing disparity by examining the lives and achievements of fifteen women scientists who either won a Nobel Prize or played a crucial role in a Nobel Prize - winning project. The book reveals the relentless discrimination these women faced both as students and as researchers. Their success was due to the fact that they were passionately in love with science. The book begins with Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics. Readers are then introduced to Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, Emmy Noether, Lise Meitner, Barbara McClintock, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Rosalind Franklin. These and other remarkable women portrayed here struggled against gender discrimination, raised families, and became political and religious leaders. They were mountain climbers, musicians, seamstresses, and gourmet cooks. Above all, they were strong, joyful women in love with discovery. Nobel Prize Women in Science is a startling and revealing look into the history of science and the critical and inspiring role that women have played in the drama of scientific progress.

The Theory That Would Not Die

Author: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780300188226
Size: 28.42 MB
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"Bayes' rule appears to be a straightforward, one-line theorem: by updating our initial beliefs with objective new information, we get a new and improved belief. To its adherents, it is an elegant statement about learning from experience. To its opponents, it is subjectivity run amok. In the first-ever account of Bayes' rule for general readers, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores this controversial theorem and the human obsessions surrounding it. She traces its discovery by an amateur mathematician in the 1740s through its development into roughly its modern form by French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace. She reveals why respected statisticians rendered it professionally taboo for 150 years--at the same time that practitioners relied on it to solve crises involving great uncertainty and scanty information, even breaking Germany's Enigma code during World War II, and explains how the advent of off-the-shelf computer technology in the 1980s proved to be a game-changer. Today, Bayes' rule is used everywhere from DNA de-coding to Homeland Security. Drawing on primary source material and interviews with statisticians and other scientists, The Theory That Would Not Die is the riveting account of how a seemingly simple theorem ignited one of the greatest controversies of all time."--

Promethean Ambitions

Author: William R. Newman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226575241
Size: 31.85 MB
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In an age when the nature of reality is complicated daily by advances in bioengineering, cloning, and artificial intelligence, it is easy to forget that the ever-evolving boundary between nature and technology has long been a source of ethical and scientific concern: modern anxieties about the possibility of artificial life and the dangers of tinkering with nature more generally were shared by opponents of alchemy long before genetic science delivered us a cloned sheep named Dolly. In Promethean Ambitions, William R. Newman ambitiously uses alchemy to investigate the thinning boundary between the natural and the artificial. Focusing primarily on the period between 1200 and 1700, Newman examines the labors of pioneering alchemists and the impassioned—and often negative—responses to their efforts. By the thirteenth century, Newman argues, alchemy had become a benchmark for determining the abilities of both men and demons, representing the epitome of creative power in the natural world. Newman frames the art-nature debate by contrasting the supposed transmutational power of alchemy with the merely representational abilities of the pictorial and plastic arts—a dispute which found artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Bernard Palissy attacking alchemy as an irreligious fraud. The later assertion by the Paracelsian school that one could make an artificial human being—the homunculus—led to further disparagement of alchemy, but as Newman shows, the immense power over nature promised by the field contributed directly to the technological apologetics of Francis Bacon and his followers. By the mid-seventeenth century, the famous "father of modern chemistry," Robert Boyle, was employing the arguments of medieval alchemists to support the identity of naturally occurring substances with those manufactured by "chymical" means. In using history to highlight the art-nature debate, Newman here shows that alchemy was not an unformed and capricious precursor to chemistry; it was an art founded on coherent philosophical and empirical principles, with vocal supporters and even louder critics, that attracted individuals of first-rate intellect. The historical relationship that Newman charts between human creation and nature has innumerable implications today, and he ably links contemporary issues to alchemical debates on the natural versus the artificial.

365 Surprising Scientific Facts Breakthroughs And Discoveries

Author: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780471577126
Size: 47.99 MB
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Gathers little known and unusual facts in the areas of technology, medicine, biology, botany, the earth sciences, chemistry, astronomy, physics, and mathematics

Genes Cells And Brains

Author: Hilary Rose
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844679179
Size: 55.61 MB
Format: PDF
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Our fates lie in our genes and not in the stars, said James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. But Watson could not have predicted the scale of the industry now dedicated to this new frontier. Since the launch of the multibillion-dollar Human Genome Project, the biosciences have promised miracle cures and radical new ways of understanding who we are. But where is the new world we were promised? In Genes, Cells, and Brains, feminist sociologist Hilary Rose and neuroscientist Steven Rose take on the bioscience industry and its claims. Examining the rivalries between public and private sequencers,the establishment of biobanks, and the rise of stem cell research, they ask why the promised cornucopia of health benefits has failed to emerge. Has bioethics simply become an enterprise? As bodies become increasingly commodified, perhaps the failure to deliver on these promises lies in genomics itself.

Earthmasters

Author: Clive Hamilton
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 030019482X
Size: 62.90 MB
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DIVThis book goes to the heart of the unfolding reality of the twenty-first century: international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have all failed, and before the end of the century Earth is projected to be warmer than it has been for 15 million years. The question “can the crisis be avoided?” has been superseded by a more frightening one, “what can be done to prevent the devastation of the living world?” And the disturbing answer, now under wide discussion both within and outside the scientific community, is to seize control of the very climate of the Earth itself./divDIV /divDIVClive Hamilton begins by exploring the range of technologies now being developed in the field of geoengineering--the intentional, enduring, large-scale manipulation of Earth’s climate system. He lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the extent of vested interests linking researchers, venture capitalists, and corporations. He then examines what it means for human beings to be making plans to control the planet’s atmosphere, probes the uneasiness we feel with the notion of exercising technological mastery over nature, and challenges the ways we think about ourselves and our place in the natural world./div

Instruments For New Music

Author: Thomas Patteson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520288025
Size: 21.55 MB
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Listening to instruments -- "The joy of precision" : mechanical instruments and the aesthetics of automation -- "The alchemy of tone" : Jörg Mager and electric music -- "Sonic handwriting" : media instruments and musical inscription -- "A new, perfect musical instrument" : the trautonium and electric music in the 1930s -- The expanding instrumentarium

The Chronologers Quest

Author: Patrick Wyse Jackson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139457578
Size: 76.37 MB
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The debate over the age of the Earth has been ongoing for over two thousand years, and has pitted physicists and astronomers against biologists, religious philosophers against geologists. The Chronologers' Quest tells the fascinating story of our attempts to determine the age of the Earth. This book investigates the many novel methods used in the search for the Earth's age, from James Ussher and John Lightfoot examining biblical chronologies, Comte de Buffon and Lord Kelvin determining the length of time for the cooling of the Earth, to the more recent investigations of Arthur Holmes and Clair Patterson into radioactive dating of rocks and meteorites. The Chronologers' Quest is a readable account of the measurement of geological time. It will be of great interest to a wide range of readers, from those with little scientific background, to students and scientists in a wide range of the earth sciences.