The Dispassionate Scientist

  • Martin Goldstein
  • Inge Goldstein


In Chapter 6 on the kinetic theory of heat, we referred to a common myth about scientists: that they are objective, dispassionate observers of nature, who care only for truth and are willing to discard without a qualm any theory they hold, just as soon as experimental disproof is provided. We pointed out in that chapter how little Rumford fit this myth, and how effective he was precisely because he did not.


Coral Reef Creative Artist American Scholar French Chemist Common Myth 
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Reference Notes

  1. 1.
    James D. Watson, The Double Helix: Being a Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (New York: Atheneum, 1968).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert K. Merton, “Behavior Patterns of Scientists,” American Scholar 38 (1969): 197–225. Reprinted by permission of the author.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Attributed to the physicist and Nobel laureate W. L. Bragg.Google Scholar

Suggested Reading

  1. Scientific American. Lives in Science: A Scientific American Book. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957.Google Scholar
  2. Newman, James R. Science and Sensibility. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Goldstein
    • 1
  • Inge Goldstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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