Project #85864 - Student Reply - Morus

Student Post:

In When Physics Became King, Iwan Rhys Morus examines what the central role of physics is and how it first came to be. In his work, Morus says that “a cultural history of physics can also help us move away from the prevailing view of science as the product of individual great men.” I partially agree with this statement. I agree with the fact that science is not just the product of individual great men. In order for us to better understand the world we are living in, we need to understand scientific information from the past and continue to learn more in the present and future. This means a lot of people helped gather information about science. Morus does a good job at explaining how a lot of different people are needed in order to find new information by saying, “Making physics work needed more than great experiments and new sights into the workings of nature. At the very least those great experiments needed laboratories where they could be carried out. That meant persuading others to provide the resources needed to build those laboratories” (4). Here he is saying that you do not only need the scientists performing the experiments, but you need people to donate money so you can do the experiments, you need workers to build the buildings you will be doing the experiments, and you need information from past scientists.

Though I believe that science is not the product of a single person, I believe that the individual great men Morus is talking about helps keep the process of learning new scientific ideas afloat. Yes a lot of people do work and contribute to new ideas of science, but without someone who is able to voice and explain what they are doing, the research would go nowhere. If a random, unheard person starts talking about his research, many people would think that his ideas were crazy. Morus explains this by saying, “Very few natural philosophers took Faraday’s strange views on lines of force in space seriously until they were picked up by James Clerk Maxwell a decade later” (97). So here, even though Faraday’s view was already out and told to the public, no one showed interest in it until Maxwell brought it up. Some reasons why people believe certain individuals, like Maxwell and not Faraday, could be because of their background or prior research.

Assignment Description:

By October 10, post an approximately 200 word reply to any colleagues' post and explore what were the strengths and weaknesses of that post?

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 10/09/2015 11:00 pm
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