Download Do Lemmings Commit Suicide?: Beautiful Hypotheses and Ugly by Dennis Chitty PDF

By Dennis Chitty

In contrast to approximately all technology books which inform of winning ventures and passable conclusions, this publication unearths the harsher yet extra universal part of clinical learn. Written by way of considered one of this century's such a lot unusual small mammal ecologists, it really is either a private background of and an apology for a existence in technological know-how spent engaged on difficulties for which no ultimate dramatic closure used to be reached. integrated alongside the way in which are very important anecdotes and heritage approximately Charles Elton and his pioneering paintings on the Bureau of Animal inhabitants at Oxford college, from which a lot of recent inhabitants has grown, and insights at the philosophy and perform of technology. This eye-opening account of a systematic profession may be learn by means of everybody in lifestyles sciences or the heritage and philosophy of technology.

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Additional info for Do Lemmings Commit Suicide?: Beautiful Hypotheses and Ugly Facts

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At the end of the 2 years, samples of voles continued to arrive at the Bureau, but twice a year only, and during 1932-1935 David Davis and Richard Ranson weighed each animal and recorded its reproductive state. But they had other jobs to do than analyze the data, nor was I asked to do anything about them. So the records lay around until the outbreak of war, when they were stored for safety in the basement of the Bodleian Library. Then, at odd times during the first 30 years after the war, Helen and I dusted them off to see what further information we could squeeze out of them.

20 Voles also cut grass for nests, keep their runways clear by mowing down all sprouting vegetation, and bite the tips off grasses outside their runways. In July 1938 as many as 43% of the blades were without tips, though they were only a few centimetres shorter than those in the protected plots. " The dominant species nevertheless continued to thrive and maintain their frequency in the unprotected plots. Even during peak 38 Do Lemmings Commit Suicide? 3), by which time the new season's grasses were flourishing.

Whewell45 There is only one proved method of assisting the advancement of pure science—that of picking men of genius, backing them heavily, and leaving them to direct themselves. Conant46 Changing myth into science is less easy than it sounds, though not all problems take as long to solve as it's taking to explain cycles. Science is not an objective skill of applying something called "scientific method," but a fallible creative art. Just how fallible will become obvious from the present book. "48 Dubos discusses this issue as follows: Anyone interested in the performance of the human mind—out of mere curiosity, or for scholarly pursuit—welcomes the publication of the tentative and often crude sketches through which artists and writers evolve the final expressions of their ideals.

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