Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein: Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe (Paperback)

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Description


Drawing on the lives of five great scientists, this "scholarly, insightful, and beautifully written book" (Martin Rees, author of "From Here to Infinity") illuminates the path to scientific discovery.
Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein all made groundbreaking contributions to their fields--but each also stumbled badly. Darwin's theory of natural selection shouldn't have worked, according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Lord Kelvin gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling, the world's premier chemist, constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a "Big Bang" origin to the universe (ironically, the caustic name he gave to this event endured long after his erroneous objections were disproven). And Albert Einstein speculated incorrectly about the forces of the universe--and that speculation opened the door to brilliant conceptual leaps. As Mario Livio luminously explains in this "thoughtful meditation on the course of science itself" ("The New York Times Book Review"), these five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors.
"Thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written" ("The Washington Post"), "Brilliant Blunders "is a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists--and the mistakes as well as the achievements that made them famous.

About the Author


Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of The Golden Ratio, a highly acclaimed book about mathematics and art for which he received the International Pythagoras Prize and the Peano Prize, and also The Equation That Couldn t Be Solved, Is God a Mathematician? and The Accelerating Universe. He writes a regular blog, A Curious Mind, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781439192375
ISBN-10: 1439192375
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 27th, 2014
Pages: 341
Language: English