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Progress In The Biological Sciences

Regarding "How To Spur Scientific Revolution: Amass Copious Data, Keep It Simple" (K. Hopkin, The Scientist, Aug. 19, 1996, page 18): Thomas Kuhn's paradigms and the idea that little problems with a theory result eventually in a scientific revolution may fit for some accomplishments in physics and chemistry, but they do not chart developments in the biological sciences very well. Without a microscope, would we know anything about sperms? Without a developed X-ray film in Rosalind Franklin's de

Felix Friedberg

Regarding "How To Spur Scientific Revolution: Amass Copious Data, Keep It Simple" (K. Hopkin, The Scientist, Aug. 19, 1996, page 18): Thomas Kuhn's paradigms and the idea that little problems with a theory result eventually in a scientific revolution may fit for some accomplishments in physics and chemistry, but they do not chart developments in the biological sciences very well. Without a microscope, would we know anything about sperms?

Without a developed X-ray film in Rosalind Franklin's desk drawer (and a quick look by James Watson), Watson and Francis Crick would not have formulated the DNA helix; without the discovery of radioactivity and George de Hevesy's use of this property as a tool (a tracer), Marshall Niremberg would not have solved the puzzle of the code; without Frederick Sanger's DNA sequencing method, the Human Genome Project would not have been started; and without Kary Mullis's polymerase chain...

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