Moments of Discovery - Vol. 1

Moments of Discovery - Vol. 1

Moments of Discovery - Vol. 1

Moments of Discovery - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This work, the culmination of twenty years of study of the creative process in science, attempts to bring together, in the writings of some hundred great figures in the history of science, the story of the scientist's approach to the universe. True creativity is as rare in science as it is in literature and the arts. It is revealed by the ability to crystallize meaningful concepts out of observations which at first glance are chaotic and patternless. The creative scientist searches for the comprehensibility and the underlying unity in the structure of the universe. He also recognizes that at any time these approaches to concepts of unity are but temporary, partial successes which must inevitably be replaced by new developments and new concepts.

We are aware that the writings of many outstanding scientists have been omitted, but we have insisted on the privilege of the anthologist to select those works which have had the most influence on him. Some selections are quite lengthy in order to represent more satisfactorily the genesis of necessarily difficult concepts.

Many fine anthologies of original documents in different areas of science have attempted to demonstrate the origin and development of such fields as astronomy, physiology, animal biology, physics, chemistry, and pathology. Some of these anthologies have led us to materials otherwise not available, and we must acknowledge our debt to the editors of these collections.

No work of this type can be accomplished without much help. We are especially grateful to Mr. Bern Dibner and Mrs. Adele Marthysse of the Burndy Library, Norwalk, Connecticut, for assistance in gathering the illustrations used and in checking many sources. The Burndy Library is one of the country's finest collections of original works in the history of science, and Mr.

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