Advertisement

The Minute Experiment and the Large Picture

  • Ralph W. Gerard

Abstract

My scientific career must surely begin with my father, a brilliant man with great intellectual curiosity who was a born, but frustrated, teacher. Coming to this country from Central Europe, after a stop in England, to obtain a degree in engineering, he made a career in industry but clearly should have been a university don. As an only son, and being apparently bright enough to ignite his hopes and ambitions that I would achieve what had been denied him, I was the beneficiary of his pent-up devotion to science and to learning. He had had a trying life and was not an easy man to live with, but above all else there came through clearly a passionate devotion to matters of the intellect and to communicating to his young son some of the golden understanding reverberating in his own mind. He was a great admirer of Ralph Waldo Emerson, for whom I am named, and of Thomas Huxley, whose lay lectures in science were a model for his own teaching. Sunday morning walks always provided an opportunity for a Socratic examination of some phenomenon of nature ; I recall vividly his picking up a rounded pebble on the beach and leading me to formulate the action of waves and other natural forces in producing this shape. Surely my continued movement into a generalist role, my interest in teaching and use of the Socratic method, and my devotion to reason as a way of life trace back to these very early experiences with a gifted teacher.

Keywords

Alpha Rhythm Large Picture Iron Curtain Sunday Morning Giant Fiber 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph W. Gerard

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations