Informatics HIV vaccine and new techniques for producing stem cells.Such breaches prove that scientists do not always base their work strictly on rigorous experimentation, data collection and analysis, and hypothesis testing. In fact, scientists frequently disagree with one another, both as individuals and as representatives of competing schools of thought. Some of these debates rage on for years. Superstring theory, sometimes called the “theory of everything,” has been a topic of vigorous contention for over 30 years.In some cases, personalities, prejudices and petty jealousies enter the picture. Consider, for example, one of the great disputes of 20th-century physics, the long-running feud between two world-renowned physicists. The antagonism between Philipp Lenard and Albert Einstein sheds considerable light on the power of nonscientific concerns to sway scientists.Philipp Lenard (1862-1947) was a German experimental physicist who advanced the study of X-ray tubes, the photoelectric effect and atomic theory. His results led him to propose (correctly) that most of the atom is composed of empty space. Lenard was a genius, operating with a deep conviction that only careful experimentation could advance the understanding of the structure of the universe. Lenard received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1905 for his work on cathode rays.Albert… Read full this story
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