A tale of seven scientists and a new philosophy of science by Eric Scerri

By Eric Scerri

In his newest ebook, Eric Scerri provides a totally unique account of the character of medical development. It contains a holistic and unified process during which technology is obvious as a dwelling and evolving unmarried organism. rather than medical revolutions that includes incredibly proficient contributors, Scerri argues that the "little humans" give a contribution up to the "heroes" of technological know-how. to do that he examines seven case reviews of just about unknown chemists and physicists within the early twentieth century quest to find the constitution of the atom. They comprise the novice scientist Anton van den Broek who pioneered the thought of atomic quantity in addition to Edmund Stoner a then physics graduate scholar who supplied the seed for Pauli's Exclusion precept. one other case is the physicist John Nicholson who's almost unknown and but was once the 1st to suggest the idea of quantization of angular momentum that used to be quickly positioned to solid use through Niels Bohr.

Instead of targeting the common sense and rationality of technology, Scerri elevates the function of trial and blunder and a number of discovery and strikes past the concept of medical advancements being wrong or right. whereas criticizing Thomas Kuhn's inspiration of medical revolutions he is of the same opinion with Kuhn that technological know-how isn't drawn in the direction of an exterior fact yet is quite pushed from inside of. The publication will liven up the long-standing debate at the nature of technology, which has more and more shied clear of the large query of "what is science?"

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11. Observed lines in the solar corona at various dates. frequency and finding that this ratio was equal to a multiple of Planck’s constant. Nicholson concluded that Planck’s constant there­ fore had an atomic significance and indicated that angular momen­ tum could only change in discrete amounts when electrons leave or return from an atom. 12. Nicholson’s identification of 14 of these lines, using proto-fluorine and ionized of this proto-atom. angular momentum. Nicholson was in fact the first person to make this association, in what would soon become an integral aspect of Bohr’s theory of the hydrogen atom.

The opposite positions to these assumptions are, of course, logical positivism and critical rationalism. In both these positions, the principal agent, the subject of science, is the individual. The reason is that in the Kuhnian framework the principal agent in science, its subject, is not the individual but the group. 25 However, I do not take the customary approach of sociologists of science, which generally consists in analyzing the social context of scientific discoveries. Although I believe that social context makes an important contribution to the development of science I am more interested in a radical or literal form of sociology, which regards science as a group activity rather than the work of particular individuals.

On the view that I am proposing, Nicholson’s theory was just one part of the giant organism that we generally call scientific progress, or simply, the scientific community. This organism puts out a new limb, as it were, which turned out not to have any evolutionary advantage. Nevertheless in the context in which it arose there was still a certain degree of progress. 12 In addition Nicholson also proposed the notion of quantization of angular momentum which Niels Bohr very soon embraced to much effect.

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