Oren Harman and Michael Dietrich, Dreamers, Visionaries, and the Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2018, 324 pp., 18 illus. $40.00, £ 30.00 Paper. ISBN: 978-0-226-56990-1
  • Siddharth SatishchandranEmail author
Book Review

In Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences, Oren Harman and Michael Dietrich attempt to answer a central question: what are the conditions that foster innovation in the history of biology. The book argues that this question was answered by Thomas Kuhn, who stated that novelty occurs through a crisis of problem-solving, and by upending the status quo “science” would provide an alternative solution to solving said problem. The editors, adding to the growing scholarly work of anti-Kuhnian analysis, see change occurring through pluralistic action, where “there are many more paths to novelty in biological research than imagined by Kuhn and his followers” (p. 2). By following this theme through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Harman and Dietrich, with the help of colleagues like Luis Campos and Janet Browne, write a narrative of individuals who dreamed of radical ideas and dared to question authority. The book not only uncovers eccentric characters such as W....


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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