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Weighing the Soul: The Evolution of Scientific Beliefs

Len Fisher

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Prose: non-fiction, Science: general issues, Popular science

From the IgNobel-winning author of How to Dunk a Doughnut, another slice of the weird and wonderful side of science

Good science and common sense often don't mix. In Weighing the Soul, Len Fisher shows the path to scientific discovery is frequently a bumpy one that follows Schopenhauer's famous maxim - 'All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident.'

Fisher tells the fascinating, human stories behind some of the great as well as some of the not-so-great scientific ideas of the past - those that were truly bizarre, peculiar or downright daft, and those that just seemed that way at the time. As he shows, it is often only with hindsight that the two can be told apart, and it is some of those who appeared most wrong - and who were variously ignored, persecuted and imprisoned as a result - that ultimately went on to be proved most right.

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Len Fisher

Recipient of an IgNobel Prize for his studies on the physics of biscuit dunking, and voted an enemy of the people by The Times for research into the way roast dinners absorb gravy, Len Fisher is a tireless promoter and populariser of science. He moved to England in 1989 following a career that began in food research, but has included forays into biomedicine, mining engineering, surface science, fundamental physics and philosophy. He is currently Honorary Research Fellow in the Physics Department, University of Bristol.

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