It Doesn't Take a Rocket Scientist
Great Amateurs of Science
By John Malone
(Wiley (TP), Hardcover, 9780471414315, 240pp.)
Publication Date: October 2002
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. . . that the woman who discovered the largest and most complete T. rex fossil on record was a high-school dropout who became one of the world's greatest fossil hunters? . . . that the great British scientist Michael Faraday was the son of a blacksmith and had very little formal education? . . . that Gregor Mendel had time to study inherited traits in garden peas because he failed the test to qualify as a high school science teacher?
This is just a small sampling of the many surprises you'll find in this enlightening survey of the mavericks, misfits, and unschooled investigators who have been responsible for some of the greatest scientific discoveries in history. It Doesn't Take a Rocket Scientist explains the achievements of each of these accomplished amateurs, describes how they approached their investigations, and discusses the impact of their discoveries. In these amazing and inspiring stories, you'll learn about:
* Grote Reber and the birth of radio astronomy
* Arthur C. Clarke's vision of communication satellites
* Joseph Priestley and the discovery of oxygen
* Felix d'Herelle's pinpointing of bacteriophages, killers of bacteria
* Thomas Jefferson and the science of archaeology
You'll also discover which fields of science still offer great opportunities for modern amateurs eager to make a name for themselves. After all, it doesn't take a rocket scientist.