This book was commissioned as part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science Book Series. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has for many years had an interest in encouraging public understanding of science. Science in this century, has become a complex endeavor. Scientific statements may reflect many centuries of experimentation and theory and are likely to be expressed in the language of advanced mathematics or in highly technical terms. As scientific knowledge expands, the goal of general public understanding of science becomes increasingly difficult to reach.
Yet an understanding of the scientific enterprise, as distinct from data, concepts, and theories, is certainly within the grasp of us all. It is an enterprise conducted by men and women who are stimulated by hopes and purposes that are universal, rewarded by occasional successes, and distressed by setbacks. Science is an enterprise with its own rules and customs, but an understanding of that enterprise is accessible for it is quintessentially human. And an understanding of the enterprise inevitably brings with it insights into the nature of its products.
The Sloan Foundation expresses great appreciation to the advisory committee, now retired. Its members included the chairman, Simon Michael Bessie, copublisher, Cornelia and Machael Bessie Books; Howard Hiatt, professor, School of Medicine, Harvard University; Eric R. Kandel, university, professor, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and senior investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Daniel Kevles, professor of history, California Institute of Technology; Robert Merton, university professor emeritus, Columbia
University; Paul Samuelson, institute professor of economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Robert Sinsheimer, chancellor emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz; Steven Wemberg, professor of physics, University of Texas at Austin; and Stephen White, former vice-president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Previous members of the committee were Daniel McFadden, professor of economics, and Philip Morrison, professor of physics, both of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; George Miller, professor emeritus of psychology, Princeton Univcrsity; Mark Kac (deceased), formerly professor of mathematics, University of Southern California; and Frederick E. Terman (deceased), formerly provost emeritus, Stanford University. The Sloan Foundation has been represented by Arthur L. Singer, Jr., Stephen White, Eric Wanner, and Sandra Panem.
—THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
Other books in this series are:
Disturbing the Universe by Freeman Dyson
Advice to a Young Scientist by Peter Medawar
The Youngest Science by Lewis Thomas
Haphazard Reality by Hendrik B. Casimir
In Search of Mind by Jerome Bruner
A Slot Machine, a Broken Test Tube by S. E. Luria
Enigmas of Chance by Mark Kac
Rabi: Scientist and Citizen by John Ragden
Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist by Luis W. Alvarez
Making Weapons, Talking Peace by Herbert F. York
The Statue Within by François Jacob
In Praise of Imperfection by Rita Levi-Montalcini
Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist by George J. Stigler
What Mad Pursuit by Francis Crick
Astronomer by Chance by Bernard Lovell
The Joy of Insight by Victor Weisskopf
Models of My Life by Herbert A. Simon