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The Golem
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Details

  • 2 b/w illus. 2 tables
  • Page extent: 212 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.266 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 500
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: QA125 .C552 1998
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Science--History
    • Science--Social aspects--History

Library of Congress Record

Paperback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521645508 | ISBN-10: 0521645506)

What is the golem? In Jewish mythology the Golem is an effigy or image brought to life. While not evil, it is a strong, clumsy and incomplete servant. Through a series of case studies, ranging from relativity and cold fusion to memory in worms and the sex lives of lizards, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch debunk the traditional view that science is the straightforward result of competent theorization, observation and experimentation. Scientific certainty is the interpretation of ambiguous results. The very well received first edition generated much debate, reflected in a substantial new Afterword in this new edition, which seeks to place the book in what have become known as 'the science wars'.

• Second edition of a very well received title • Original edition generated much controversy, debate and publicity, addressed in this new edition • Demystifies science and is highly readable on complex subjects

Contents

Introduction: the golem; 1. Edible knowledge: the chemical transfer of memory; 2. Two experiments that 'proved' the theory of relativity; 3. The sun in a test tube: the story of cold fusion; 4. The germs of dissent: Louis Pasteur and the origins of life; 5. A new window on the universe: the non-detection of gravitational radiation; 6. The sex life of the whiptail lizard; 7. Set the controls for the heart of the sun: the strange story of the missing solar neutrinos; Conclusion: putting the golem to work; Afterword; References and further reading; Index.

Reviews

'A very readable account.' New Scientist

' .. it succeeds extraordinarily well in this task of portraying and assessing the real fabric of scientific research, based on the insights of modern scholarship.' Bernard Dixon, former editor of New Scientist

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