Everyday Practice of Science and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: £8.87

or
 
   
Trade in Yours
For a £0.25 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading Everyday Practice of Science on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic [Hardcover]

Frederick Grinnell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 12 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £11.14  
Hardcover £14.99  
Paperback £12.99  
Trade In this Item for up to £0.25
Trade in Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.25, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

22 Jan 2009 0195064577 978-0195064575
Scientific facts can be so complicated that only specialists in a field fully appreciate the details, but the nature of everyday practice that gives rise to these facts should be understandable by everyone interested in science. This book describes how scientists bring their own interests and passions to their work, illustrates the dynamics between researchers and the research community, and emphasizes a contextual understanding of science in place of the linear model found in textbooks with its singular focus on "scientific method." Everyday Practice of Science also introduces readers to issues about science and society. Practice requires value judgments: What should be done? Who should do it? Who should pay for it? How much? Balancing scientific opportunities with societal needs depends on appreciating both the promises and the ambiguities of science. Understanding practice informs discussions about how to manage research integrity, conflict of interest, and the challenge of modern genetics to human research ethics. Society cannot have the benefits of research without the risks. The last chapter contrasts the practices of science and religion as reflective of two different types of faith and describes a holistic framework within which they dynamically interact.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Spend £30 and get Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year 2014 for £24.99. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed


Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (22 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195064577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195064575
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 14.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 949,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

[...] an absolute gem. As a welcome antidote to the wiz-bang, techno-babble world of TV forensic dramas, Frederick Grinnell offers a real-life look at the scientific process. (Laboratory News)

[Grinnell] does a lot of serious thinking aloud about big themes in science: discovery and credibility and integrity and (perhaps all the more pointedly because he is an academic biologist who works in Dallas, Texas, among the biblical fundamentalists) the nature of faith. Out of the perfectly self-effacing prose, very good things emerge, including a sense of the writer as a warm, fair-minded and thoughtful human being with a finely tuned sense of propriety. He chooses beautiful and apposite quotations from Francis Collins, Albert Einstein and the painter Joan Miro in half a page, and punctiliously includes the references. (Tim Radford, guardian.co.uk)

About the Author

Frederick Grinnell is Professor of Cell Biology and founder of the Program in Ethics in Science and Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. He is the author of The Scientific Attitude.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Forget everything you've learned about scientific methodology, and especially the scientific method, says cell biologist Fred Grinnell in his book "Everyday Practice of Science". Instead he insists, science often operates more successfully by relying on both intuition and passion, and occasionally, even serendipity. The scientific method - especially when viewed through a philosophical lens such as Karl Popper's famous "falsification" criterion - can be viewed more accurately as a guide, not an outright "Bible" - for scientific research. Grinnell contends that, for many scientists, instead of relying upon a strict adherence to the scientific method - which he frequently refers to as the "linear model of idealized research" - there is instead, what he regards as the "ambiguity of every day practice". Much of Grinnell's concise, coherent thought in this rather terse book does revolve around that ambiguity, but it is an ambiguity that may reside only in such "experimental" sciences like cell biology and biochemistry, not within other biological sciences like systematics and ecology. Regardless, Grinnell has written an important book on how science works, and one that should be read widely, both within the scientific community and outside, amongst the scientifically literate public.

Grinnell compares and contrasts the classic model of scientific research with what he refers to as "every day practice". In the classic model, a problem is stated, experiments are carried to confirm or refute hypotheses pertaining to this problem, determine whether experimental results confirm or reject these hypotheses and draw appropriate conclusions, and then seek independent confirmation of these results and conclusions by independent researchers.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 1 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover
Everyday practice of Science is an interseting and important read.The book takes us through a range of arguments in relation to what science really is and how it goes about its business. Fredderick Grinnel roots his story firmly in recent practice with clear cut examples from the work of a range of scientists. The real behaviour of real scientists, including their weaknesses and individualism, is brought to life. Inevitiably Grinnnell spends some time dealing with the so called Intelligent Design crowd but he does not let this dominate the more significant issues. Throughout this book he presents us with an insightful and informed position as to what science actually looks like and the ways in which it is able to progress despite being subject to modern pressures such as "patent rather than publish". Although being marketed as a "popular" science book it is, at times, rather techincal (and too rooted in Biology?)although I found this depth very helping in coming to grips with his overall message.

This book is clearly of interest to the generalist reader. I think it should be complusory reading for all science undergarduates and certainly by those who wish to provide quality education in schools. Certainly one of the bset reads in this area of recent times. Ken Robson
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
By Whatuni
Format:Hardcover
There are two similar and well worn phrases which sum this book up perfectly. "Appearances can often be deceiving" and the almost tailor made "Don't judge a book by its cover" - for within its rather bleak jacket Everyday Practice of Science is an absolute gem. As a welcome antidote to the wiz-bang, techno-babble world of TV forensic dramas, Frederick Grinnell offers a real-life look at the scientific process. He describes how scientists bring their own passion and interest into their work and analyses the relationship between researchers and the wider scientific community.

Grinnell also studies the relationship between science and society and how balancing scientific opportunities with society's needs depends on a clear understanding of the difference between what science promises and what it can actually deliver.

Importantly, Grinnell focuses on how science is actually done - rather than how science is taught, and as he said: "I describe the everyday practice of science in a fashion that embraces intuition and passion without abandoning objectivity and logic."
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Science Really Works According to Cell Biologist Fred Grinnell 2 July 2009
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Forget everything you've learned about scientific methodology, and especially the scientific method, says cell biologist Fred Grinnell in his book "Everyday Practice of Science". Instead he insists, science often operates more successfully by relying on both intuition and passion, and occasionally, even serendipity. The scientific method - especially when viewed through a philosophical lens such as Karl Popper's famous "falsification" criterion - can be viewed more accurately as a guide, not an outright "Bible" - for scientific research. Grinnell contends that, for many scientists, instead of relying upon a strict adherence to the scientific method - which he frequently refers to as the "linear model of idealized research" - there is instead, what he regards as the "ambiguity of every day practice". Much of Grinnell's concise, coherent thought in this rather terse book does revolve around that ambiguity, but it is an ambiguity that may reside only in such "experimental" sciences like cell biology and biochemistry, not within other biological sciences like systematics and ecology. Regardless, Grinnell has written an important book on how science works, and one that should be read widely, both within the scientific community and outside, amongst the scientifically literate public.

Grinnell compares and contrasts the classic model of scientific research with what he refers to as "every day practice". In the classic model, a problem is stated, experiments are carried to confirm or refute hypotheses pertaining to this problem, determine whether experimental results confirm or reject these hypotheses and draw appropriate conclusions, and then seek independent confirmation of these results and conclusions by independent researchers. In "every day practice", or rather, an "ambiguous view" of scientific research, he emphasizes a practical, often pragmatic, view of science, which depends first on how one determines a problem that is worth an ample investment, all too frequently enough, in time and resources, especially those of a financial nature. It's entirely possible that in framing the problem and conducting the experiments, one might ignore, as "experimental error", important data that could lead to an entirely new tangent with respect to scientific research. Moreover, he suggests that good questions should not be discarded immediately if experimental results do not support them at first; since such failures may be due more to errors in experimental design than on whether good questions, good hypotheses, lack any semblance of potential scientific validity. Finally notable discoveries can - and often are - greeted by colleagues with ample suspicion and disbelief, leaving the researcher no choice but to try becoming a successful advocate on behalf of his findings and conclusions.

Does Grinnell make a compelling, quite persuasive, case? He most certainly does within his chosen field of cell biology, demonstrating how "experimental error" and serendipity have led him to unexpectedly new avenues for research. A view of science that is far removed from the classic model known as the "scientific method", and one, I suspect, that is shared by others, including, for example, Brown University cell biologist Ken Miller, who has declared that he does not subscribe at all to this very model of scientific research. It is from this perspective that Grinnell devotes separate chapters to what he refers to as discovery, credibility and integrity. In the chapter entitled "Discovery" (Chapter 2), Grinnell draws upon his early experience as a new researcher who had missed important data by mistakenly attributing it as experimental error, and contends that it is an investigator's thought style (thinking) that is as relevant to scientific discovery as the discovery itself. In "Credibility" (Chapter 3), explains how scientists seek validation of discoveries, not merely through the classic example of scientific peer review, but through publicizing results (via invited lectures at other research institutions and scientific meetings), but also in thinking of their own "thought styles" (preconceptions and "hunches" which may play a more important role in their research than the attempted verification of experimental hypotheses). Unquestionably, "Credibility" is important merely for emphasizing some of the sociological aspects of science I have noted (presenting talks at scientific society meetings, etc.) and comparing and contrasting scientific peer review with its closest analogue, judicial review in the courts (though, admittedly, that isn't a precise analogy between the two).

Sociological aspects of science truly come to the fore in the latter half of "Everyday Practice of Science". Grinnell's chapters on "Integrity" (Chapter 4) and "Informed Consent and Risk" (Chapter 5) addresses, in the words, of a pre-publication reviewer of this book, the "humanity of science". In "Integrity", Grinnell emphasizes the importance of trust in relying on fair, relatively unbiased, peer review in the important task of peer reviewing grant proposals as well as potentially publishable science in scientific journals. He also stresses recognizing potential conflicts of interest, which certain have become ever so important in the recent rapid development of start-up biotechnology firms relying on discoveries made at university and college research centers, often made by the very founders of these firms. The next chapter, "Informed Consent and Risk" delves into the ethics of human research, with special emphasis on gene therapy research. If nothing else, this chapter comprises both a useful and sobering reminder of the perils of human subject research, as well as important insightful analysis from Grinnell explaining why, especially with respect to gene therapy, this research hasn't progressed substantially within the past decade.

Most scientists will insist that Faith (Chapter 6) should never be considered in the every day practice of science. This is clearly one point that a devoutly religious scientist like cell biologist Ken Miller and dedicated atheist physicist Lawrence Krauss will find themselves in agreement. Surprisingly, however, Grinnell observes that, in essence, both religion and science are different sides of the same coin. He believes scientists rely as much on faith in science, as they might in their personal lives, with respect to any deeply held religious beliefs (or perhaps even well-considered skepticism and militant atheism). Succinctly, but with utmost clarity, Grinnell points to Intelligent Design creationism as an excellent example as to how scientists can and should distinguish faith in science from faith in religion. He also stresses how religion and science can be compatible, drawing from physicist Niels Bohr's notion of complementarity, who argued that modern physics created the necessary conditions for recognizing that religion and science constitute opposite sides of the same coin; as separate, but complementary, avenues for asserting faith. Grinnell believes Bohr's point is of utmost importance, in stressing the limitations of both, and perhaps too, to remind scientists that they should embrace humility when thinking of their scientific research, and its implications for others, including the general public. The limitations of scientific research is an important note upon which Grinnell concludes his discussion, but it is an observation that will be ignored by many, especially by so-called "New Atheists" (I prefer the term "Militant Atheists" as a more suitable description of their zealous behavior.) who think religion deserves to be discarded as superstitious nonsense, replaced only by a philosophical worldview which stresses the overriding importance of science.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into Real Science 10 Jan 2010
By Timothy Haugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a math and physics teacher, I understand how difficult it is to communicate to people how science is actually done. In schools, we tend to idealize the process to make it easier for students to digest the fundamentals. Many teachers try to give students snapshots of the reality but it often seems to merely cloud the issue. And yet, if scientists are ever going to seem something other than high priests of rarified knowledge, we must learn to express what really goes on in our laboratories, journals and conferences--our scientific culture and society. With this book, Professor Grinnell has done much to aid that process.

The first half of Grinnell's book is truly excellent. In it, he uses his own research and experiences along with a few wider-ranging anecdotes to describe what really goes on in the laboratory: how research is done and how discoveries are made. When he is talking about his own work and experiences, he is quite compelling, offering real insight into the actual process of science.

That alone makes this book worthwhile. In the last half of the book, he tackles issues that are in many ways more complex; namely, how what goes on in the laboratory intersects with society. Here he tackles things like informed consent and the impact of faith. If his writing here is not quite as powerful as in the earlier sections, well, the issues are more complex and not as amenable to the kind of examples he was able to use in the first part.

My only real complaint is a personal one: as a physical scientist, I would have been more interested in examples taken from my field; however, Grinnell is a biologist and so, despite occasional efforts to reach further afield, his examples center on that world. Even so, his descriptions of the real workings of science should be widely read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science as it really is 20 Dec 2009
By John Duncan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It is refreshing to read a book about how science is done written by a real scientist who KNOWS how it is done. Other writers have written on a similar theme: Peter Medawar and Lewis Wolpert come to mind, even Richard Dawkins in some passages; but these are all household names, and it is more realistic to read about it from the point of view of the great mass of scientists who are not household names.

Frederick Grinnell takes a realistic view of the philosophers' notions of how science is done. Mostly we accept Karl Popper's idea of falsifiability as a guiding principle, but he reduces it to "in everyday practice, Popper's idea of falsification signifies being open to the possibility that we might be wrong". As for Thomas Kuhn, he tells that his book "had a great impact on the development of the field called science studies", but what he doesn't say would be more interesting, and more important, if it were true: he doesn't say that Kuhn had any influence on science. In both cases I think Grinnell has it right.

The middle chapters are about Discovery -- what procedures lead to new discoveries, and why were seemingly obvious things not seen earlier? Credibility -- how do we decide whether to believe new results? Integrity -- oddly titled, because it is more about funding than with what I would call integrity; and Informed Consent and Risk.

At the end of the book there is a chapter entitled Faith, in which he discusses the relationship between science and religion. Although he doesn't make a clear statement that he is religious himself, one gets a clear impression that he is, and he believes that science and religion can coexist, and they are complementary, both containing some of the truth. On the other hand, he sees through the pretense that "Intelligent Design" should be treated as scientific rather than as a kind of creationism: after explaining the historical origins of the idea that some things are too difficult to allow any explanation, only to be explained later, he says "Supporters of ID are not interested in further elucidation of irreducible complexity. Instead they appeared to be satisfied that they have arrived at the Truth of the matter."
3.0 out of 5 stars if you go to worcester state university MA and need ... 30 Jun 2014
By adrianna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
if you go to worcester state university MA and need this, buy the cheapest version you can find, because you only end up reading a few chapters and its mostly common sense stuff
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it very much 2 Dec 2013
By Teresa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I give it 5 stars because the topic is rarely addressed in the literature and is very interesting to me as a researcher. The first sections are excellent. The last, on faith, does not interest me, so, I did not read it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback