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Promoting the Planck Club: How Defiant Youth, Irreverent Researchers and Liberated Universities Can Foster Prosperity Indefinitely

ISBN: 978-1-118-54642-0
238 pages
March 2014
Promoting the Planck Club: How Defiant Youth, Irreverent Researchers and Liberated Universities Can Foster Prosperity Indefinitely (1118546423) cover image


Promoting the Planck Club presents rich mini histories of selected scientists whose work led to radical and transformational discoveries, their background, the prevailing scientific environment, and the conditions that allowed for their success. The text provides a broad audience of students, scientists, engineers, economists, and policymakers with ways to ensure that we take all steps to protect the flow of unpredictable scientific discoveries that are necessary for sustained levels of growth as well as ways to ensure that all steps are taken to protect the flow of unpredictable scientific discoveries.
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Table of Contents

List of Posters ix

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1
Accidents, Coincidences, and the Luck of the Draw: How Benjamin Thompson and Humphry Davy Enabled Michael Faraday to Electrify the World 16

Chapter 2
Science, Technology, and Economic Growth: Can Their Magical Relationships Be Controlled? 27

Chapter 3
Max Planck: A Reluctant Revolutionary with a Hunger of the Soul 38

Chapter 4
The Golden Age of Physics 50

Chapter 5
Oswald T. Avery: A Modest Diminutive Introverted Scientific Heavyweight 79

Chapter 6
Barbara McClintock (1902–1992): A Patient, Integrating, Maverick Interpreter of Living Systems 89

Chapter 7
Charles Townes: A Meticulously Careful Scientific Adventurer 99

Chapter 8
Carl Woese: A Staunch Advocate for Classical Biology 110

Chapter 9
Peter Mitchell: A High-Minded Creative and Courageous Bioenergetics Accountant 126

Chapter 10
Harry Kroto: An Artistic and Adventurous Chemist with a Flair for Astrophysics 139

Chapter 11
John Mattick: A Prominent Critic of Dogma and a Pioneer of the Idea That Genomes Contain Hidden Sources of Regulation 158

Chapter 12
Conclusions: How We Can Foster Prosperity Indefinitely 174

Appendix 1
Open Letter to Research Councils UK from Donald W. Braben and Others Published in Times Higher
Education, November 5, 2009 194

Appendix 2
Global Warming: A Coherent Approach 197

References 201

Index 206

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Author Information

DONALD W. BRABEN, PHD, is an honorary professor at University College London, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and Founder of Venture Research International Ltd. He spent some 16 years in particle physics, followed by spells in the Cabinet Office and Science Research Council headquarters before beginning his long association with Venture Research in 1980. Dr. Braben is the author of Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization and Pioneering Research: A Risk Worth Taking (both from Wiley).

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