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Hook E.B. (ed.) Prematurity in Scientific Discovery: On Resistance and Neglect

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Hook E.B. (ed.) Prematurity in Scientific Discovery: On Resistance and Neglect
University of California Press, 2002. — 378 p.
For centuries, observers have noted the many obstacles to intellectual change in science. In a much-discussed paper published in Scientific American in 1972, molecular biologist Gunther Stent proposed an explicit criterion for one kind of obstacle to scientific discovery. He denoted a claim or hypothesis as "premature" if its implications cannot be connected to canonical knowledge by a simple series of logical steps. Further, Stent suggested that it was appropriate for the scientific community to ignore such hypotheses so that it would not be overwhelmed by vast numbers of false leads. In this volume, eminent scientists, physicians, historians, social scientists, and philosophers respond to Stent's thesis.
Contents:
A Background to Prematurity and Resistance to Discovery (by Ernest B. Hook).
Prematurity in Scientific Discovery (by Gunther S. Stent).
Prematurity, Nuclear Fission, and the Transuranium Actinide Elements (by Glenn T. Seaborg).
Resistance to Change and New Ideas in Physics: A Personal Perspective (by Charles H. Townes).
The Timeliness of the Discoveries of the Three Modes of Gene Transfer in Bacteria (by Norton D. Zinde).
Scotoma: Forgetting and Neglect in Science (by Oliver Sacks).
Prematurity and Delay in the Prevention of Scurvy (by Kenneth J. Carpenter).
A Triptych to Serendip: Prematurity and Resistance to Discovery in the Earth Sciences (by William Glen).
Theories of an Expanding Universe: Implications of Their Reception for the Concept of Scientific Prematurity (by Norriss S. Hetherington).
Interdisciplinary Dissonance and Prematurity: Ida Noddack’s Suggestion of Nuclear Fission (by Ernest B. Hook).
Michael Polanyi’s Theory of Surface Adsorption: How Premature? (by Mary Jo Nye).
Prematurity and the Dynamics of Scientific Change (by Frederic L. Holmes).
Barbara McClintock’s Controlling Elements: Premature Discovery or Stillborn Theory? (by Nathaniel C. Comfort).
The Work of Joseph Adams and Archibald Garrod: Possible Examples of Prematurity in Human Genetics (by Arno G. Motulsky).
The Prematurity of Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection (by Michael Ruse).
Prematurity, Evolutionary Biology, and the Historical Sciences (by Michael T. Ghiselin).
The Prematurity of Prematurity in Political Science (by George Von der Muhll).
The Impact and Fate of Gunther Stent’s Prematurity Thesis (by Lawrence H. Stern).
Premature Discovery Is Failure of Intersection among Social Worlds (by Elihu M. Gerson).
Fleck, Kuhn, and Stent: Loose Reflections on the Notion of Prematurity (by Ilana Loewy).
The Concept of Prematurity and the Philosophy of Science (by Martin Jones).
Prematurity and Promise: Why Was Stent’s Notion of Prematurity Itself So Premature? (by David L. Hull).
Reflections on Hull’s Remarks (by Gonzalo Munevar).
Comments (by Gunther S. Stent).
Extensions and Complexities: In Defense of Prematurity in Scientific Discovery (by Ernest B. Hook).
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