Chemical Discovery and the Logicians' Program
A Problematic Pairing
By (author) Jerome A. Berson
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Chemical Discovery and the Logicians' Program by Jerome A. Berson
Book DescriptionWhat is it that turns a new observation into a true scientific discovery? And who may claim the credit? Theoreticians of science, the foremost thinkers of their times among them, have tried to answer these fundamental questions about the nature of scientific progress and discovery. With clear insight and the chemical as well as philosophical wisdom gained from over fifty years as a practising chemist, Jerome Berson puts their theories to the test. The development of chemistry into a "modern" science during the last two centuries provides him with ample cases to illustrate the way scientific progress really happens.Kekule's struggle to arrive at a structure for benzene, the paradigm change that was necessary to accept the reality of molecular rearrangements, and other episodes are retold here from the philosopher's as well as from the practitioner's perspective, shedding light on the way scientists think and act. Berson's account of the rather unphilosophical way in which scientific discoveries are made includes the realization that even a false hypothesis, such as Woodward's ideas about the biosynthesis of strychnine, may help rather than hinder scientific progress. Scientists of all ages, as well as many non-scientists, will find this a highly readable and unusual book.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9783527307975
(242mm x 186mm x 13mm)
Imprint: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH
Publisher: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: Germany
Books By Author Jerome A. Berson
Chemical Creativity, Paperback (March 1999)» View all books by Jerome A. Berson
This text looks at the ideas of people like Woodward, Hnckel and Meerwein that were to further the realms of chemistry. Sections include: discoveries missed, discoveries made; the Dienone-Phenol mysteries; and meditations on the special convictive power of symmetrization experiments.
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Author Biography - Jerome A. Berson
Jerome A. Berson received a B.S. in chemistry from the City College of New York in 1944. After a brief period in industry with Hoffmann-LaRoche in New Jersey, he served in the Army of the United States (1944-1946, China-Burma-India Theater). In 1946, he entered graduate study at Columbia University where he took M.A. and Ph.D. degrees with W. von E. Doering. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (with R.B. Woodward) in 1949-50. Subsequently, he taught chemistry at the University of Southern California (1950-1963), the University of Wisconsin (1963-1969), and Yale University (since 1969). He is presently Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Yale.
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