The Threat and the Glory: Reflections on Science and Scientists

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9780060391126: The Threat and the Glory: Reflections on Science and Scientists

A passionate advocate of scientific endeavour, Medwar wrote, lectured and reviewed widely, describing the glories of scientific achievement and warning of the dangers of pseudo-scientific deception. In his view the greatest threat is posed not by science itself, but by a misunderstanding of science. A tireless searcher after truth and merciless debunker of myths, he was famous not only for his work in immunology, but also for the astonishing power and clarity of his writing, which had made - and continues to make - an incalcuable contribution to the public understanding of science. This selection, made posthumously from essays now unavailable elsewhere, and including some previously unpublished material, covers a characteristically wide range of subjects: genetics, evolution, creativity, philosophy, scientific fraud, how to survive in hospital after a stroke, and attitudes to death and the prolongation of life. In includes the 1959 Reith Lectures "The Future of Man" and a hitherto unpublished transcript of a BBC interview, "My Life in Science".

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About the Author:


About the Author:
The late Sir Peter Medawar, who won the Nobel Prize (with Sir Macfarlane Burnet) in 1960 for his work on tissue transplantation, was the author of numerous books on scientific issues.

From Library Journal:

The late Peter Medawar shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1960 for his discovery of acquired immunological tolerance, which cleared the way for organ transplants. He also was a graceful and philosophical writer. This is a collection of 23 of his essays, speeches, and book reviews, many never published in book form. The core is a set of six provocative BBC lectures on "The Future of Man," covering genetics, education, birth control, and other factors that influence our species. Equally stimulating are essays offering insights on such questions as why more male babies then female babies are born in wartime, why smaller families tend to have smarter children, and even why the 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica could well have omitted an illustration of a giraffe: "I stake my reputation that no one who knows what a giraffe looks like found out by referring to an encyclopedia." Good reading about tough subjects for informed lay readers. For more on Medawar, see wife Jean Medawar's A Very Decided Preference: Life with Peter Medawar ( LJ 6/1/90).
-Ed. --Natalie Kupferberg, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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