Scientific Feuds

Joel Levy

Scientific Feuds

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Tesla vs. Edison! Huxley vs. Wilberforce! Freud vs. Jung! Salk vs. Sabin! Most science chronicles present a triumphant march through time, with revolutionary thinkers and their discoveries following in orderly progression. The truth, however, is somewhat different. Scientific Feuds: From Galileo to the Human Genome Project is a collection of the most vicious battles between the greatest minds in the history of science. It features such contests as Huxley and Wilberforce's debate on Darwin's theory of evolution, Franklin and Wilkins' fight over the discovery of DNA, and the "War of Currents" between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison (which ended with Edison electrocuting dogs and horses in a vain attempt to discredit Tesla's work). From passionate competition to vindictive sniping, these rivalries prove that the world of science is far from cold and methodical. Author Joel Levy brings us a "meanwhile back home" look at how inventions, discoveries, and scientific progress is everything but unemotional and objective. Rather than a simple celebration of genius, the book is filled with hot-blooded passion, petty squabbling, and fierce rivalry amongst the great thinkers. With all the conniving backstabbing, fierce rivalry, and dirty tricks in this book, you might think that these were more like episodes of "Real Housewives" than "Nova" or "Cosmos." It includes the Franklin vs. Wilkins fight over the discovery of DNA. Rosalind Franklin's unpublished work on the double helix structure of DNA (1946) was seen by her colleagues Watson and Crick, including the beautiful "Photo 51," shown to Watson by Wilkins. This X-ray diffraction picture of a DNA molecule was Watson's inspiration (the pattern was clearly a helix). Using Franklin's photograph and their own data, Watson and Crick created their famous DNA model. Franklin's contribution was not acknowledged, but after her death Crick said that her contribution had been critical. Also covered in this book is Galileo's trial by the Catholic Church for his heretic adoption of the heliocentric view. From passionate rivalries to vindictive sniping, the arguments in this book prove that when it comes to the personalities behind the ideas, the world of science is far from apathetic and orderly.
Pages 224
Publish Date 2010-10-05
series None
Size 7.6" x 10.3" x 0.06"
Author Joel Levy

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