heroic science and science heroes

Sarah Boomer sarai at u.washington.edu
Mon Apr 15 20:32:38 EST 1996

The phrase "heroic science" was recently used and I was just curious what
that meant to readers.  My impression of the original poster's intent was
that it was some bygone time in science when ideas were somehow more
objective and not cluttered with stuff like politics, feminism, etc.

I would be interested in other people response to whether there ever was
such a time and, as a related point, who do people uphold as scientific

This note was actually on my postponed list until I noticed the post today
that brought forth a similar point.

In response to the first point, my opinion would be that nothing we look
back on today was probably ever ideal.  In response to the second
question, I used to look up very much to Barbara McClintock but that fell
away as I discovered I liked to maintain a life outside science too and
just couldn't see myself modelling her lifestyle.  I think Huxley still
holds high esteem, however, as a scientist devoted to both scientific and
humanities philosophies.

Anyway - I would love to hear what other people thought about heroic
science and scientific heroes.


Sarah Boomer				email:  sarai at u.washington.edu
Dept. of Microbiology			work phone:  543-3376
Box 357242				work FAX:  543-3376
University of Washington
Seattle, WA  98195

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