Pascal Mercier – Perlmann’s Silence (Perlmanns Schweigen)
The heart-rending story of a renowned, prize-winning scientist who has lost touch with his subject. An invitational conference …
We all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. And that includes five of the greatest scientists in history: Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, Albert Einstein. But the mistakes that these great scientists made helped science to advance. Indeed, as Mario Livio explains in this fascinating book, science thrives on error; it advances when erroneous ideas are disproven. All five scientists were great geniuses and fascinating human beings. Their blunders were part of their genius and part of the scientific process. Livio brilliantly analyses their errors to show where they were wrong and right, but what makes his book so enjoyable to read is Livio’s analysis of the psychology of these towering figures. Along the way the reader learns an enormous amount about the evolution of life on earth and in the universe, but from an unusual vantage point: the mistakes of great scientists rather than the achievements that made them famous.
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