Start reading Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science [Kindle Edition]

Michael Brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $4.96 (29%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $11.99  
Hardcover $20.50  
Paperback $13.43  
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

The thrilling exploration of the secret side of scientific discovery --proving that some rules were meant to be broken scientists have colluded in the most successful cover-up of modern times. They present themselves as cool, logical, and level-headed, when the truth is that they will do anything --take drugs, follow mystical visions, lie and even cheat --to make a discovery. They are often more interested in starting revolutions than in playing by the rules. In Free Radicals, bestselling author Michael Brooks reveals the extreme lengths some of our most celebrated scientists --such as Newton, Einstein, and Watson and Crick --are willing to go to, from fraud to reckless, unethical experiments, in order to make new discoveries and bring them to the world's attention.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A salutary reminder that scientists are as human and fallible as anyone else."
(--Daily Telegraph )

"Free Radicals is an exuberant tour through the world of scientists behaving badly."


"Fun to read. Brooks . . . capers through the exploits of scores of brilliant and often ruthless rogues."
(--Financial Times )

"A call to arms . . . Not some idealistic crusade; it has important implications."
(--BBC )

"Brooks raises intriguing questions about the value of peer review panels and ethics boards, while illuminating much of the gritty real work performed in ivory towers around the world."
(--Publishers Weekly )

"Not all scientists are nerds. In Free Radicals, physicist Michael Brooks tries to dispel the notion that scientists are stuffy, pen-protector-polishing bookworms."
(--Washington Post )

"Insightful . . . a page-turning, unvarnished look at the all-too-human side of science."
(--Kirkus Reviews )

"Mr. Brooks call for scientists to lift their heads and raise their voices while the rest of us ask hard questions and demand institutions that will bring more visionaries into play . . . Free Radicals presents a solid case."
(--New York Journal of Books )

"Free Radicals illuminates the role of the irrational in science, the mistakes that make scientists human, and reveals that breakthroughs that change our lives in the most fundamental ways may have the most serendipitous origins."
(--Brain Pickings )

"[Free Radicals] goes a long way toward making scientists--and science--a lot more real to the public."
(--Science 2.0 )

"Free Radicals reminds readers that scientific advances sometimes require creativity and vision . . . A fascinating book."


"Brooks lays out, in fascinating--and often horrifying and discomfiting detail--the anarchy that underlies the scientific endeavor . . . it is a must read for every scientist on the planet, as well as anyone interested in science."

Review

"A salutary reminder that scientists are as human and fallible as anyone else."
(--Daily Telegraph )

"Free Radicals is an exuberant tour through the world of scientists behaving badly."


"Fun to read. Brooks . . . capers through the exploits of scores of brilliant and often ruthless rogues."
(--Financial Times )

"A call to arms . . . Not some idealistic crusade; it has important implications."
(--BBC )

"Brooks raises intriguing questions about the value of peer review panels and ethics boards, while illuminating much of the gritty real work performed in ivory towers around the world."
(--Publishers Weekly )

"Not all scientists are nerds. In Free Radicals, physicist Michael Brooks tries to dispel the notion that scientists are stuffy, pen-protector-polishing bookworms."
(--Washington Post )

"Insightful . . . a page-turning, unvarnished look at the all-too-human side of science."
(--Kirkus Reviews )

"Mr. Brooks call for scientists to lift their heads and raise their voices while the rest of us ask hard questions and demand institutions that will bring more visionaries into play . . . Free Radicals presents a solid case."
(--New York Journal of Books )

"Free Radicals illuminates the role of the irrational in science, the mistakes that make scientists human, and reveals that breakthroughs that change our lives in the most fundamental ways may have the most serendipitous origins."
(--Brain Pickings )

"[Free Radicals] goes a long way toward making scientists--and science--a lot more real to the public."
(--Science 2.0 )

"Free Radicals reminds readers that scientific advances sometimes require creativity and vision . . . A fascinating book."


"Brooks lays out, in fascinating--and often horrifying and discomfiting detail--the anarchy that underlies the scientific endeavor . . . it is a must read for every scientist on the planet, as well as anyone interested in science."

Product Details

  • File Size: 513 KB
  • Print Length: 311 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590208544
  • Publisher: Overlook; 1 edition (April 26, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0087GZB8K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
(10)
4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What goes on in Science does NOT .... July 10, 2011
Format:Paperback
What really goes on in the world of Science? Except for the rare evil scientist shown in movies, normally scientists are portrayed as cool, logical, level headed personalities - maybe slightly timid but nevertheless those who follow the rules. Now in "Free Radicals", Michael Brooks shows how wrong this picture is.

According to Brooks, in Science anything goes. The competition is so tough and the prizes so valuable that no punches are pulled. Drugs, lies, fraud, politics - all are part of the game. He exposes famed personalities from Newton to Einstein - showing how human they all are; and how the successful ones never hesitated to break the rules. Most of us have heard of Newton's famous statement on '..standing on the shoulders of giants', but we would not have heard of his skill of stomping down other scientists!. Any literate person would have heard of Einstein and his E=MC2 equation, but it is unbelievable to hear that he could not fully prove it in spite of eight attempts!!

Well researched and narrated in a fast pace, this book beats most fiction novels. I was enthralled at the stories, though in the beginning some of the `exposes' did give me a shock. But as I proceeded in the book it was clear that the author's intentions were honorable - the objective was not to deride the scientists but show that they are human just like the rest of us. Being an expert in one discipline does not make a person super human - nor does that expertise translate into other areas. I was also surprised at how `close minded' experts are and how difficult is for new ideas to break though - even in a field which is supposed to foster open thinking.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pushing a sensationalist title too far... June 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. I am a practicing physicist at a well-respected laboratory and am quite aware of the humanity behind the science-- the drama and the creativity as well as the conservatism and thinking-in-the-box inertia. In this book I get the sense the Brooks is acting as a bit of a sensationalist in pushing his 'secret anarchist' notion on a public that, I fear, is already distrustful of scientists.

Brooks seems to constantly reiterate the notion that truly innovative work is done outside the strictures of a tightly confining scientific establishment, yet the support he furnishes seems to be a lot of unrelated anecdotes about maverick scientists and the stodgy establishment types who are either fame whores or too dull to recognize innovation when they see it.

What should not be a surprise is that science is done by a wide range of personalities and like many other communities, has its leaders and innovators and as well as those who are happy to live and work in the middle behaving well within the norm. Just like other work environments you get people being jerks to each other, acting out of spite and jealousy, but you also have generous, giving types who are interested in pushing their communities forward.

I guess this book rubbed me the wrong way because it seemed to try to push a cute, sensationalist title a little too far. There are several examples in the scientific community where high impact work was done by boring, nice people who didn't have important connections and weren't shunned or mistreated as in the anecdotes that Brooks describes. These kinds of stories are maybe too boring to sell books, but the thesis that Brooks hangs this whole book around is empty and not productive to the discourse between the scientific public and the community.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Renegade Scientists July 9, 2014
Format:Paperback
In this most engaging book, the author recounts various stories about scientists in various fields who simply did not follow what we would expect to be normal protocol in science. Often as a result of these deviations, remarkable discoveries have been made resulting in several Nobel Prizes being awarded. The author calls this “anarchy of science”. Many fields of science are discussed; however, I found that the life sciences, e.g., biology, medicine, etc. seem to feature a more frequently in this book than the physical sciences such as physics and chemistry.

Over the years I became aware of some of these stories through reading other books. I must say that, as a scientist, I was quite surprised. In fact, learning that some of those whom I regarded as gods in science, e.g., Robert Millikan, Arthur Eddington and even Albert Einstein, have displayed less than pristine yet all too human traits was disappointing to me. It simply goes to show that one’s conviction of how science is done does not always reflect reality. However, I do agree with some of the reviewers who pointed out that this type of anomalous behaviour is not at all the norm. After having spent over thirty years in science, I have very rarely seen anything like it.

The author’s writing style is very friendly, captivating and lively; as a result, the book is very difficult to put down. I believe that this book can be enjoyed by anyone; however, because of the many scientific descriptions that are included, science enthusiasts would likely relish it the most.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read!
Full of insight and exciting scientific history of significant breakthroughs in science, better than 13 things that don't make sense.
Published 8 months ago by Dr. Kieran Fitzgerald Fitzgerald
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Science
Very interesting overview of scientists and their more human side. This is the perspective of scientists not usually written about.
Published 10 months ago by Glenda Lassiter
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Shame
Its an amazing paradox that a science writer can talk about the history of science and how consensus can and does stifle scientific dissent.. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael B. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Info that's not widely known
Gives a different view of science that we don't generally think about and causes us to be more circumspect in choosing what to embrace and what to question
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener
Not going to write my own book to review this one. It was a very interesting account of the world of science. Read more
Published on August 31, 2012 by Chris Osiecki
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the truth hurts...
This review contains only my opinions.

From what I know about this book's thesis, it seems to be an extremely valid expose. Read more
Published on July 28, 2012 by a reviewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Skepticism, Cynicism
Incisive yet each page is filled with human frailties that apply to every profesion or vocation. Its sole claim to fame is to defame (not humanize) almost every scientist and their... Read more
Published on August 31, 2011 by herb515
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category