I shall argue that the ideas of the educated lay public on the nature of scientific inquiry and the intellectual character of those who carry it out are in a state of dignified, yet utter, confusion. Most of these misconceptions are harmless enough, but some are mischievous, and all help to estrange the sciences from the humanities and the so-called 'pure' sciences from the applied.
Thus spake Sir Peter Medawar OM FRS, probably the most lucid and wide-ranging living writer on science and related matters. He is also one of the greatest modern biologists and his discovery of acquired immunological tolerance laid the foundations for all the transplants of kidneys, hearts, lungs and bone marrow that are virtually routine procedures nowadays. This work earned his team the 1960 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, shared with the recently deceased Australian Macfarlane Burnet. New Scientist (April 12, 1984) featured a lengthy profile of Medawar's life and career which makes fascinating reading alongside Pluto's Republic (OUP 1982) a 350 page omnibus of his best popular writing.
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