Conflict as the Fuel of Science

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9780099273240: Conflict as the Fuel of Science

Rivals: Conflict As The Fuel Of Science

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Review:

Michael White's book Rivals: Conflict as the Fuel of Science is a superb collection of essays describing the personality clashes, petty jealousies and mean-spirited rivalries that have characterised the development and suppression of science and technology throughout history.

Like Melvyn Bragg's recent bestseller On Giants' Shoulders, Rivals tells the story of science through the lives and discoveries of the great scientists. But where Bragg's 12 essays are lightweight sketches, the eight pieces in Rivals are substantial and well researched. While providing a fairly detailed and lucid explanation of the scientific innovations and theories, White is a fine storyteller with a great sense of drama. As one might expect from a veteran historian of science, the stories of Newton and Leibniz, Lavoisier and Priestley, Darwin and Wallace, Edison and Tesla, the race for the Atom Bomb, Crick and Watson, the Space Race and the feuds between Bill Gates and Larry Ellison are told with authority and verve.

The chapter "Atomic Bombs and Human Beings" begins with the aborted assassination attempt of Nobel laureate physicist Werner Heisenberg in a small seminar room at the University of Zurich in December 1944. The story of Edison and Tesla begins at the scene of the first execution-by-electric-chair of a man who remained alive after the first blast of electric current before the second literally baked him from the inside. This is a highly educational and thoroughly entertaining journey through some of the momentous episodes in the history of science. Suitable even for beginners, and a thumping good read even if you thought you knew it all already. --Larry Brown

About the Author:

Michael White was formerly a professional musician before becoming a lecturer at d'Overbroeck's College and Science Editor of GQ. He became a full-time writer in 1987, since when he has published over a dozen books, three of which were co-written with John Gribbin. He lives in Kent.

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Michael White
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ISBN 10: 0099273241 ISBN 13: 9780099273240
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Book Description Vintage 07/02/2002, 2002. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780099273240

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Book Description Vintage 2002 Paperback, 2002. Book Condition: Fair. White's thesis is that the greatest advances in science come about through the stress of rivalry, whether between individual scientists, groups of scientists, institutions or even international communities of scientists. Not in this book do we have the thunderbolt of divine inspiration, or the placid, sterile and rather dull world in which it is popularly imagined the scientist lives: for White, great scientific advancements often find their origin and progression into the wider world through the very human battles for supremacy among the experts in any particular field, battles which can be born of jealousy, pettiness and simple personality clashes, as well as more noble instincts. The book deals with eight instances in the history of science and technology which changed the world, all of which have acute rivalry at their heart: Newton and Leibniz, Lavoisier and Priestley, Darwin and Wallace, Edison and Tesla, the race for the Atom Bomb, Crick and Watson, the Space Race and Gates and Ellison. 430 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 959998

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Michael White
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Book Description Vintage 2002 Paperback, 2002. Book Condition: Very Good. White's thesis is that the greatest advances in science come about through the stress of rivalry, whether between individual scientists, groups of scientists, institutions or even international communities of scientists. Not in this book do we have the thunderbolt of divine inspiration, or the placid, sterile and rather dull world in which it is popularly imagined the scientist lives: for White, great scientific advancements often find their origin and progression into the wider world through the very human battles for supremacy among the experts in any particular field, battles which can be born of jealousy, pettiness and simple personality clashes, as well as more noble instincts. The book deals with eight instances in the history of science and technology which changed the world, all of which have acute rivalry at their heart: Newton and Leibniz, Lavoisier and Priestley, Darwin and Wallace, Edison and Tesla, the race for the Atom Bomb, Crick and Watson, the Space Race and Gates and Ellison. 430 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 828131

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