The Epic History of Biology

By Anthony Serafini | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 21
Biology in the Twentieth Century

It was, almost certainly, only in the twentieth century that science truly became a profession. It was the era of Einstein and the theory of relativity as well as the era of quantum mechanics and the computer. Germany and Italy would retain their places as the leaders in science for decades to come. Throughout an impressive part of the twentieth century it was de rigueur for newly graduated American scientists to head for European capitals to complete their education. Irving Langmuir, Robert Millikan, and Linus Pauling, among others, did precisely this.

With the advent of huge foundations, such as the Rockefeller and Sears foundations, which offered grants to scientists, as well as the opportunity for paid academic posts appearing on a regular basis, science escaped the amateur status it had held throughout most of the nineteenth century and before. Academic journals, too, were proliferating. With the invention of the telephone and the airplane and modernization of printing techniques, travel and communication with. other thinkers became much easier. In addition to this, the public was

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