From the Back Cover
I only hope that the people who presently control research funding are prepared to read this book, think carefully, and heed the advice.
Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto, The Florida State University
Don Braben s sobering book is right on the mark regarding the current disastrous path of funding of scientific research. . . . One can hope that Braben s model will be widely adopted it could change the landscape of science in future decades.
US National Academy of Sciences member Harry L. Swinney, University of Texas at Austin
Promoting the Planck Club
How defiant youth, irreverent researchers and liberated universities can foster prosperity indefinitely
The twentieth century s plethora of creative scientists challenged the thinking of their day with uninhibited studies that led to such unpredicted technologies as lasers, countless electronic and telecommunications components, nuclear power, biotechnology, and medical diagnostic breakthroughs. While the potential of science is greater than ever, policies have changed over the past few decades. Proposals for new work must now be submitted to third parties for assessment of their national or societal benefits before they are considered for funding making the possibility of securing financial backing increasingly difficult.
This provocative book traces the economic and social impact of frontier scientific research and focuses on the revolutionary discoveries that emerged from the unorthodox work of some of science s greatest pioneers. Clearly written and engaging from beginning to end, Promoting the Planck Club:
- Provides numerous mini histories of such selected scientists as Max Planck, Benjamin Thompson, Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, Oswald Avery, Francis Crick, James Watson, Harry Kroto, Richard Smalley, Bob Curl, and more
- Explores the scientific environment that led to the important discoveries in the twentieth century and compares it with today s worrisome approach to the funding of scientific research
- Explains the consequences of current trends such as the industrialization of science and the corporatization of universities
- Stimulates discussion on the best atmosphere under which scientific research should be conducted
Recommended for general courses on science, Promoting the Planck Club: How defiant youth, irreverent researchers and liberated universities can foster prosperity indefinitely will appeal to scientists of various disciplines, engineers, economists, policy makers, and anyone interested in science, science policy, and the general nature of creativity.
About the Author
DONALD W. BRABEN, PHD, is an honorary professor at University College London, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and Founder of Venture Research International Ltd. He spent some 16 years in particle physics, followed by spells in the Cabinet Office and Science Research Council headquarters before beginning his long association with Venture Research in 1980. Dr. Braben is the author of Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization and Pioneering Research: A Risk Worth Taking (both from Wiley).