May 1959

Physics and Philosophy, the Revolution in Modern Science.

Author Affiliations

By Werner Heisenberg. Price, $4. Pp. 206, with no illustrations. Harper & Brothers, 49 E. 33d St., New York 16, 1958.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(5):844-845. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270050166032

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I do not recall having met an educated person who claims to know less about contemporary physics than I do. Nevertheless, it has been my contention that as physicians living in the early part of the second half of the twentieth century we have very strong obligations to understand as much as we can of the world we live in. Perhaps if this could be done on a large scale events might be bent somewhat to wise purposes rather than just letting them happen. The introduction of the uncertainty principle, for which Heisenberg received the Nobel Prize, may be of some comfort in its oversimplified form as applied to research in biology. As I understand it, his essential belief is that by the very act of measuring a variable factor is introduced which disqualifies the evidence by virtue of altering the thing measured. Certainly, in clinical investigation and in biology

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