Thursday, 22 March 2012

22 March class/homework

Read and take notes

Listen and take notes

Task 1. Compare your notes and think on how the key ideas and supporting details in one source compliment or contradict the ideas and supporting details in another - prepare -3 slides and comment.
Task 2.
It is a problem that can only get worse. Think of the growing number of “big science” projects, from the Human Genome to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). All involve thousands of people working in myriad disciplines. Naming an individual who is single-handedly responsible for the project – and its findings - is an impossible task.
That is because genuine scientific progress is usually collaborative and collective even if the nature of fame, and fiction, is to single out individuals and hand them all the credit. We like to make heroes, and a century ago stories about dashing, dynamic inventors saving the day, and the world, through their indefatigable ingenuity were so popular they even had their own name – Edisonades, inspired by the famously sweaty Thomas Edison. Such tales peaked in popularity long before EAM Windsor became QE2. Now even in fantasies in which a scientist makes some amazing advance, they are usually portrayed as nutty, absent-minded, eccentric or plain weird.
So it will be interesting to see which scientists, if any, end up being allotted a place among the New Elizabethans.  For all their incalculable influence on life as we now live it, few have changed anything single-handedly, while many who have made a significant difference have achieved little or no public recognition. Unlike their fictional counterparts, the scientists who have transformed our world seldom get starring roles, just an uncredited cameo as part of the crowd.

Cooper,Q. 16 March 2012. The myth of the lone genius.[accessed 22 March 2012] <>


  1. Paraphrased text:
    It is an inceptive problem which involves thinking of the increasing number of “big science” projects, from the Human Genome to the large Hardon Collider. Impossible work is to name all individuals accountable for the project – it all involves plenty of working people in various disciplines.
    That is because the collective scientific work always selects the exceptional characters and give them fame. If regard to the heroes, Edisonades – this name was inspired by Thomas Edison (famous scientist) , some similar personages become popular long time before. And even now, these characters are presented as ridiculous and mindless.
    Only few of the scientists changed something in our environment, while others who made considerably big job, had no public attention. If to compare real persons with their caricatures, scientists rarely got the leading role in public.

    Tatjana Osokina

  2. An individual cannot be responsible for a significant science projects. That is because scientific breakouts are usually collaborative and collective even if it is in our nature to give all the credit to one person. This idea of a hero scientist or also known as Edisonade was inspired by Thomas Edison. Tales, where a weird, insane, mad scientist saves the world have become popular way before EAM Windsor became QE2.
    What scientists will be among the New Elizabethans is extremelly interesting, as only a few have echieved something extraordinary on their own. Edisonades get all the fame whereas scientists who actually have improved our world get little or no recognition.