Frederick Grinnell
Westuiew; Boulder, Col.; 141 pages;
$29.50 (hardback), $13.50 (paperback)

“Serious play.” A “myth of scientific induction.” An amalgam of “politics, sex, wine, movies, teamwork, rivalry genius, stupidity and virtually everything that make life in the lab and out something less than perfect and a great deal more than dull.”

These are but three of the many descriptions of science quoted by cell biologist, Frederick Grinnell as he sets out “to analyze what scientists take for granted to be science.”

Grinnell’s book, The Scientific Attitude, skips wine and movies but works its way through most of the rest of a researcher’s life, describing the practice of science: how a scientist chooses problems for study, writes grant proposals, or evaluates prospective faculty members. Grinnell concludes with commentaries on the way science interacts with politics and religion.

Science students especially, whatever their disciplines, will enjoy his insider’s asides:...

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