Investigative Pathways: Patterns and Stages in the Careers of Experimental Scientists

Investigative Pathways: Patterns and Stages in the Careers of Experimental Scientists

by Frederic Lawrence Holmes, Jed Z. Buchwald
     
 

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… See more details below

Overview

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 career-apprenticeship, mastery, distinction, and maturity-over 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300100754
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/10/2004
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.48(h) x 0.78(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1Interpretations of Scientific Discovery and Creativity
1Investigation, Discovery, and Experimental Practice3
2The Three Scales of the Investigative Pathway and the Materials for Their Reconstruction11
Pt. 2Phases in the Lifetime Career
3Apprenticeship and the Achievement of Independence27
4Mastery of a Domain43
5Is Distinction Achieved or Conferred?56
6Maturity and the Dilemmas of the Aging Scientist72
Pt. 3Episodic Rhythms within an Investigative Life
7Complicating the Pathway Metaphor93
8Complicating the Episodic Rhythms103
9Predictability and Unpredictability122
Pt. 4The Fine Structure of Experimental Investigation
10The Interplay between Thought and Operation149
11Flashes of Insight and Moments of Discovery171
Conclusion: The Narrative Representation of Investigative Pathways189
Afterword: F. L. Holmes and the History of Science193
Notes203
Index215

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