No Easy Answers

Science and the Pursuit of Knowledge

Readers not familiar with the literature will learn through Franklin's book a great deal about the history of the electron, the neutrino, the magnetic monopole, and much else. [He] wisely selects his case studies to illuminate the influence that experiments have had in science . . . physicists will find in it a useful epitome of Franklin's past contributions and will be reassured of the legitimacy of their rationalist conception of science.
Physics Today

In No Easy Answers, Allan Franklin offers an accurate picture of science to both a general reader and to scholars in the humanities and social sciences who may not have any background in physics. Through the examination of nontechnical case studies, he illustrates the various roles that experiment plays in science. He uses examples of unquestioned success, such as the discoveries of the electron and of three types of neutrino, as well as studies that were dead ends, wrong turns, or just plain mistakes, such as the “fifth force,” a proposed modification of Newton's law of gravity. Franklin argues that science is a reasonable enterprise that provides us with knowledge of the natural world based on valid experimental evidence and reasoned and critical discussion, and he makes clear that it behooves all of us to understand how it works.

272 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

March, 2007

isbn : 9780822959687

about the author

Allan Franklin

Allan Franklin is professor of physics at the University of Colorado. He has twice been chair of the Forum on the History of Physics of the American Physical Society and has served two terms on the Executive Council of the Philosophy of Science Association. He is the author of eleven books, including Are There Really Neutrinos? An Evidential History; Selectivity and Discord: Two Problems of Experiment; No Easy Answers: Science and the Pursuit of Knowledge; Shifting Standards: Experiments in Particle Physics in the Twentieth Century, and coauthor of Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy.

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Allan Franklin