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Spence, D.P. (1968). The Human Nature of Science. Researchers at Work in Psychiatry: By Stewart E. Perry. New York: The Free Press, 1966. 289 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 37:151-153.
    

(1968). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 37:151-153

The Human Nature of Science. Researchers at Work in Psychiatry: By Stewart E. Perry. New York: The Free Press, 1966. 289 pp.

Review by:
Donald P. Spence

The intent of this book can best be judged by an arresting confession made by the author in the final chapter, as follows: 'I begin … with the pessimistic idea that I (like all other scientists) am basically alone in this world and what I have always to do is to try to transcend that aloneness' (p. 238). How is this done? By trying to code personal experience with a shared system of rules—the rules of science—so that others may participate in the author's experience even though they cannot see with his eyes.

Judged by this statement of purpose, Perry's book is only partly successful. He is broadly concerned with the influence of the social structure on the research enterprise and capably discusses the general nature of the problem, bringing together an impressive collection of references; anyone interested in the interface which joins science and society could learn a great deal from chapter ten.

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