Synopses & Reviews
This fascinating book is an investigation of scientific creativity. Following the research pathways of outstanding scientists over the past three centuries, it finds common features in their careers and their landmark discoveries and sheds light on the nature of long-term experimental research.
Frederic Lawrence Holmes begins by discussing various approaches to the historical study of scientific practice. He then explains three kinds of analysis of the individual scientific life: broad-scale, which examines the phases of a scientist's careerapprenticeship, mastery, distinction, and maturityover a lifetime; middle-scale, which explores the episodes within such a career; and fine-scale, which scrutinizes laboratory notebooks and other data to focus on the daily interplay between thought and operation.
Using these analyses, Holmes presents rich examples from his studies of six preeminent scientists: Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, Claude Bernard, Hans Krebs, Matthew Meselson, Franklin Stahl, and Seymour Benzer. The similar themes that he finds in their work and careers lead him to valuable insights into enduring issues and problems in understanding the scientific process.
This book restores to its rightful place the practice of the history of scientific thought and of laboratory life. It is a significant contribution to scholarship in the history of science. Diana Kormos-Buchwald, California Institute of Technology
"This book is unique in its thematic analysis of scientific careers from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. It exhibits great originality and exemplary scholarship." Mary Jo Nye, Oregon State University
"In this admirable work, Holmes synthesizes what he has learned from his several prior monographic case studies of scientific creativity, and offers stimulating generalizations regarding the nature of the scientific enterprise, past and present. It will surely be regarded in the future as a classic in the field of history of science." Alan J. Rocke, Bourne Professor of History, Case Western Reserve University
This intimate portrayal of the friendship between two icons of twentieth-century poetry, Czeslaw Milosz and Joseph Brodsky, highlights the parallel lives of the poets as exiles living in America and Nobel Prize laureates in literature. To create this truly original work, Irena Grudzinska Gross draws from poems, essays, letters, interviews, speeches, lectures, and her own personal memories as a confidant of both Milosz and Brodsky. The dual portrait of these poets and the elucidation of their attitudes toward religion, history, memory, and language throw a new light on the upheavals of the twentieth-century. Gross also incorporates notes on both poets' relationships to other key literary figures, such as W. H. Auden, Susan Sontag, Seamus Heaney, Mark Strand, Robert Haas, and Derek Walcott.