Science: Philosophy & Physics

Unlike political conventions, scientific conventions are assembled not to agree on a common program of action but to toss individual contributions into a hopper of common learning. The preoccupations of the American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743 for '"promoting useful knowledge," concern almost every kind of science. Preoccupation of the American Physical Society, founded in 1899, is straightforward physics, let the philosophical chips fall where they may; but physics may include anything from the electrical conductivity of a safety pin to the fringes of the universe. Last week...

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