The Second Culture: British Science in Crisis: The Scientists Speak Out - Clive Cavendish RassamLondon: Aurum Press, 1993, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper very slightly rubbed at the edges with a short closed tear to the bottom corner of the upper panel. Previous owners' name to the first blank.
From the cover: “This book takes the reader into the heart of one of Britain’s least understood, yet most important and influential, professions — science. It examines the personalities, motives and ambitions of the members of that “second culture”, whose language and mode of thought is so alien to the bulk of their fellow citizens. And it examines their relationship with the rest of society which is, through its industrial and governmental institutions, their ultimate paymaster. More than 70 scientists were interviewed in the course of the author’s research. Their specialisms range from astronomy and genetics to industrial chemistry, medicine and environmental conservation. Many of them have played a leading role in significant scientific discoveries and are internationally renowned. Several head universities or Oxbridge Colleges and others hold senior positions in world-class companies. Five are Nobel prizewinners and 24 are Fellows of the Royal Society. Together, they not only speak for British science; they also provide us with a unique insight into the rewards and pressures of their profession, and reveal what it is like to be a scientist, in Britain, in the final decade of the century. Clive Rassam also looks at the relationship between “UK plc” and its scientists, at what we as a nation expect from our scientists, and at why the results so often fall short of our expectations. He canvasses the views of industrialists, management consultants and cabinet advisors, as well as those of the scientists themselves, in order to discover why a nation with so successful a record in scientific innovation has failed so lamentably to reap the rewards in terms of prosperity. Finally, the book examines claims that British science is dangerously underfunded, and that national science policy lacks purpose and coherence. Almost without exception, the scientists whom the author interviewed despaired of the future of British science and, as a consequence, foresaw yet further economic decline, with only a few industries, most notably chemicals and pharmaceuticals, remaining to show what could have been achieved had the country as a whole made proper use of its scientific resources. In particular, they complain of the consequences of their profession being funded and “managed” by civil servants and politicians who have no understanding of science, and of the uncertainties and short-term considerations which paralyse policy-making in the field.”