Are There Cults of Theoreticians?

  • George S. Hammond
Conference paper
Part of the The IBM Research Symposia Series book series (IRSS)


At other times I have discussed the fact that international science as a whole has much of the character of a world-wide subculture and that the style and even many of the goals of scientific work are dictated by the mores of that culture. I think that my mandate in this symposium is consideration of the applicability of this principle to the fields of molecular and solid-state theory. To lay it on the line as an opener, I will state that I believe that theoretical science is filled with small, clubish cults. However, I hasten to add that this particular symposium is a great example of fine strategy for evading the restrictions imposed by small cults. Rarely, if ever, has a symposium brought together, as speakers, theoreticians with such disparate styles as Lionel Salem, Wilse Robinson, Paul Flory, Klaus Ruedenberg, and Karl Freed The fact that spin waves in solids, transition states, inorganic reactions and statistical physics of macromolecules are all under discussion in one meeting is a remarkable accomplishment.


Total Mastery Remarkable Accomplishment Theoretical Science Inorganic Reaction Molecular Wave Function 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • George S. Hammond
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCalifornia Institute of TechnologyUSA

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