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[ontolog-forum] Roald Hoffman's paper

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 17:44:57 -0400
Message-id: <018001c9c138$159845c0$40c8d140$@com>
   Re Hoffman's assertion that human factors, not mere logical and
dispassionate experiment are involved in science.    (01)

True, but not exactly a new insight.  R.B. (Robert Burns)  Woodward got the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1965 for "his outstanding achievements in the
art of organic synthesis".  Roald Hoffman was at the school at that time.  I
heard back then that there was a question on one chemistry exam at Harvard
(perhaps apocryphal, but I think it is true) to the effect "what is the
distinctive characteristic of a Harvard chemist?"
Only correct answer: 'He is elegant'    (02)

In innovative science in general, gut instinct and insight is likely to
trump pure deductive reasoning.  Probably true in other fields as well.  But
we do need the experiments and the logic to distinguish the brilliant
insights from the nonsense.    (03)

Pat    (04)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (05)

> John,
> The Hoffmann's article makes a really valuable reading.
> Thanks.    (06)

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