Transforming Nature: Ethics, Invention and Discovery / Edition 1

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Boston, MA 1998 Hard cover 1998 ed. New. BRAND NEW. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 412 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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This book treats discovery and invention as processes of knowledge transformation. This process of transformation also covers the way in which scientists persuade and inventors create markets. New discoveries and technologies are not simply the result of organizational agendas and market forces; they are created by human beings who transform both nature and society. One of the goals of this book is to take technological and scientific thinking out of the realm of mystery and give a wider audience the tools to begin to comprehend it. An additional goal is to show how ethics can be used to make certain inventions and discoveries transform the world in a beneficial way. New technologies must be environmentally sustainable and socially just.
Chapter 1 begins with analysis of several cases of discovery, and attempts to make generalizations from them. Chapter 2 combines psychology, sociology and philosophy of science in an effort to determine whether and how science can be studied. Chapter 3 is about invention and the story of the telephone is at the center, with other cases embellishing the discussion. Chapter 4 brings ethics, discovery and invention together in the case of the atomic bomb, then goes on to treat new ethical technologies like the development of a compostable furniture fabric and the introduction of photovoltaics into developing countries. Chapter 5 considers how to teach ethical discovery and invention, and includes a section on the management of discovery and invention.

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Editorial Reviews

An examination of the process of knowledge transformation that goes into the creation of new scientific and technological discovery. Applying the field of cognitive psychology to the topic, the author attempts to make generalizations of several cases of discovery and examines the invention of the telephone in detail. He then brings a study of ethics into the mix with discussions of the invention of the atom bomb, compostable furniture fabric, and solar technologies. Finally, he considers how to teach ethical discovery, and includes a section on the management of discovery and invention. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792381204
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 389
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

1: Discovery. 1.1. Kepler. 1.2. Writing as Discovery. 1.3. Discovery as Invention: Michael Faraday. 1.4. Discovery as Negotiation: The Great Devonian Controversy. 1.5. The Double Helix. 1.6. The Canals on Mars. 1.7. Understanding and Teaching Discovery: What Have we Learned? 2: Understanding Discovery. 2.1. The Emergence of a Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. 2.2. The Scientific Method: Road to Truth or Superstitious Practice? 2.3. Cognitive Psychology of Science. 2.4. Metaphors and Analogies in Scientific Thinking. 2.5. Cognitive Psychology of Science in Perspective. 3: Creating a New World. 3.1. The Etheric Force and Cold Fusion: When Discovery and Invention Don't Mix. 3.2. Reverse Salients and Simultaneous Inventions. 3.3. A Cognitive Framework for Understanding the Invention Process. 3.4. Competition over the Harmonic Multiple Telegraph. 3.5. The Error that Led to the First Telephone. 3.6. Gray's Caveat for a Speaking Telegraph. 3.7. Bell's Ear Mental Model. 3.8. Bell's Patent and Gray's Caveat Compared. 3.9. Bell's Path to the First Transmission of Speech. 3.10. Bell and Gray's Liquid Transmitters in Perspective. 3.11. After the First Transmission of Speech. 3.12. Cognition, Invention and Discovery: The Five Generalizations. 3.13. What Invention Says to Cognitive Science. 4: Ethics, Invention and Discovery. 4.1. When Matter Becomes Energy. 4.2. Virtue and Moral Reasoning. 4.3. Moral Imagination. 4.4. Towards a Sustainable Tomorrow. 4.5. The Natural Step. 4.6. Science, Superstition and Sustainability. 4.7. Silicon Nightmare. 4.8. Design of an Environmentally Intelligent Fabric. 4.9. Current Solar Income. 4.10. Generalizations about Ethics, Invention and Discovery. 5: Teaching Ethics, Discovery and Invention. 5.1. What Students and Practitioners Need to Learn. 5.2. Using Abstract Simulations to Teach Scientific Thinking. 5.3. Turning Active Learning Modules into Case-Studies. 5.4. Turning Students into Inventors. 5.5. Cases that Combine Invention and Ethics. 5.6. Ethics Case Dilemmas. 5.7. Using Active Learning Modules to Teach Environmental Invention. 5.8. Implications for Educational Reform. 5.9. Implications for Managing Innovation. 5.10. Why Do we Not Act to Save the World? 5.11. Of Loons, and a Lake. Bibliography. Index.
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