Thought for the month

“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction the sign of truth.” Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist (1623 – 62).

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A good read?

The sale, for $6 million, of Francis Crick’s 1953 handwritten letter to his son describing the model for the structure of DNA is remarkable. Leaving aside the money element, the simplicity and clarity of the prose is truly beautiful. As an undergraduate I remember reading key papers written by Rutherford and Thomson on atomic physics and marvelling how comprehensible they made their ideas. I find that delving into the current, leading edge, scientific publications is sadly not so straightforward or enjoyable. Does the peer review process place sufficient emphasis on the notion that as well as scientific relevance someone might actually prefer to enjoy reading it?

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