Drive and Curiosity: What Fuels the Passion for Science by Istvan Hargittai, Carl Djerassi

By Istvan Hargittai, Carl Djerassi

What motivates these few scientists who upward thrust above their friends to accomplish leap forward discoveries? This publication examines the careers of fifteen eminent scientists who accomplished essentially the most outstanding discoveries of the prior century, supplying an insider’s standpoint at the background of 20th century technology in accordance with those attractive character profiles. They include:

• Dan Shechtman, the 2011 Nobel laureate and discoverer of quasicrystals;
• James D. Watson, the Nobel laureate and codiscoverer of the double helix constitution of DNA;
• Linus Pauling, the Nobel laureate remembered such a lot for his paintings at the constitution of proteins;
• Edward Teller, a massive of the 20 th century who entire breakthroughs in realizing of nuclear fusion;
• George Gamow, a pioneering scientist who devised the at the start ridiculed and now authorized substantial Bang.

In every one case, the writer has exposed a unique character attribute, motivational issue, or condition that, as well as their awesome force and interest, led those scientists to make awesome contributions. for instance, Gertrude B. Elion, who came upon medicines that kept hundreds of thousands of lives, was once influenced to discover new medicines after the deaths of her grandfather and later her fiancé. F. Sherwood Rowland, who stumbled upon the environmental damage because of chlorofluorocarbons, ultimately felt an ethical important to develop into an environmental activist. Rosalyn Yalow, the codiscoverer of the radioimmunoassay continuously felt she needed to turn out herself within the face of prejudice opposed to her as a girl.

These and lots of extra attention-grabbing revelations make this a must-read for everybody who desires to comprehend what characteristics and conditions give a contribution to a person’s turning into the scientist who makes the large step forward.

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1/B-09/1 /KMR-2010-0002). I thank Ms. Judit Szűcs and Dr. Zoltán Varga for dedicated technical assistance. I express my gratitude to Linda Greenspan Regan, executive editor at Prometheus Books, for her unfailing editorial guidance. There is then one principal person behind all my efforts: my wife, Magdi—my friend and partner in all my adventures. I was driven. Peter Mansfield1 I am a scientist in large part because I was born highly curious. James D. Watson2 All scientists claim having curiosity; few admit to possessing drive.

He was much sooner a genius than a great scientist. What happened to him was the fortunate confluence of many factors of being at the right place at the right time and, above all, being the right person for his self-ordained task. It certainly was not sheer luck, because it was his decision about what to do and where to continue his career when he faced competing options. But circumstances, too, favored what he decided doing. ”8 It was less through his background at home than the environments he eventually found himself in and utilized that made him privileged.

James D. Watson1 The discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, the substance of heredity, has been likened in significance to that of Darwin's theory of evolution. The principal actors in this discovery were James D. Watson (1928-) and Francis Crick (1916-2004). Watson wanted to make a discovery; Crick wanted to understand what life was. Watson was a genius in bringing together the biological interest in DNA and the possibilities of structural chemistry. It helped that he was somewhat ignorant of the limitations of recent techniques.

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