This small book packs a huge punch - it contains the 1962 Pegram lectures at Brookhaven National Labs by this oustanding and original science historian at Yale, who saw exactly what would happen when science became bloated with a vast inflow of funds and people and the glare of ever increasing media attention. The nature of scientists would change as those attracted by different rewards than before would take it up as a career profession with their aim self advancement rather than scientific curiosity. One result is now seen in HIV AIDS where a corrupt paradigm rules, never substantiated but protected vindictively by scientists and institutions as if it was an inviolable religious belief. Derek Price's thoughtful demonstration of this prospect of big science-bad science at such an early date makes this little book a classic.
Here's a sample paragraph:
"I suggest that all those characteristics apply to people who became eminent in the days of Little Science and that we do not yet have much inkling of whatever new characteristics have been elicited by the change to the new conditions of Big Science. Many of the personality traits found formerly seem to be consistent with the hypothesis that many scientists turned to their profession for an emotional gratification that was otherwise lacking. If this is true, be it only a partial explanation, one can still see how cataclysmic must be the effect of changing the emotional rewards of the scientific life. If scientists were, on the whole, relatively normal people, just perhaps more intelligent or even more intelligent in some special directions, it would not be so difficult. But since it appears that scientists are especially sensitive to their modes of gratification and to the very personality traits that have made them become scientists, one must look very carefully at anything which tampers with and changes these systems of reward. Any such change will make Big Scientists people of very different temperament and personality from those we have become accustomed to as traditional among Little Scientists."
Interestingly, Price writes that he admires Newton's desire to write the Principia rather than reply to critics of his optical papers with papers in reply.
This is one book that shows how much we have lost by having too many darn papers instead of complete books.