Good Seeing presents a readable, inspiring history of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, from its founding in 1902, through the emergence of "big science" after World War II, to the institution's role in addressing the major science questions of the 21st century.
Authors James Refil and Margaret Hindle Hazen open their narrative with the story of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish bobbin boy who used his ingenuity to build a fortune in industrial America and then turned his energy to giving that fortune away.
The book then goes on to chronicle the groundbreaking work accomplished by the various Carnegie departments, tracing their growth and change as the frontiers of science expanded through the decades. And it looks at Carnegie's influence on the mechanisms of science funding, the institution's early support of ecology, and the building of the world's leading astronomical observatories.
The authors offer fascinating glimpses into the lives of science giants Barbara McClintock, George Ellery Hale, Edwin Hubble, Vera Rubin, Alfred Kidder and the legendary Vannevar Bush, Institution President from 1939-1955.
Lavishly illustrated with historical photos and drawings, this celebration of the Carnegie Institution's century of discovery will be a delightful read for scientists, science advocates, and students of American science leadership.
National Research Council. Good Seeing: A Century of Science at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1902-2002. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2001.
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Named to Science Books & Films 2003 Best Books List
"I commend the authors for the production of this attractive volume... the book's chief value lies in its scope and in its accessibility to readers other than professional historians of science."
-- ISIS, September 2002
"[Good Seeing] gives us more than the sort of self-congratulation that centennial volumes usually offer. [It] makes contributions to the history of biology, in reminding us of the places, the people, and the scientific and medical contributions of this institution."
-- Journal of the History of Biology, 2003