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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free Radicals: Unraveling the Secret Anarchy and Serendipity of Science | Michelle Legro, Brain Pickings

Michelle Legro describes a new book, Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science by Michael Brooks, that has a refreshing perspective. In the book, you can learn how Goethe fueled Tesla, why Newton pricked his own eye, and other lessons in breaking the rules of science.

Legro explains that the book:
... is the story of scientific rule-breakers, the men and women who experimented on themselves, had fantastic visions and unexplainable hunches, and took once-in-a-lifetime risks, all in the name of pursuing curiosity.
Among the scientists and innovators featured in the book: Isaac Newton, Sir Humpry Davy, Nikola Tesla, Enrico Fermi, Albert Einstein, Kary Mullins, and Steve Jobs. Jobs reportedly called LSD “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”

And writes Legro:
Albert Einstein reportedly once said that the secret to creativity was knowing how to hide one’s sources. Not because they were necessarily wrong, although fudged numbers were a part of Einstein’s success, but because the sources were sometimes unexplainable.
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