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Prominent progress in science is inevitably associated with controversies. Thus, young researchers, in particular, have to learn how to persevere during the period of controversy and struggle for acceptance. Unfortunately, the skills needed are not taught in textbooks or monographs, which mostly describe the consensus of contemporary experts.
This book, which is based on my own experiences as a scientist, describes the history of the progress made in auroral science and magnetospheric physics by providing examples of ideas, controversies, struggles, acceptance, and success in some instances.
Although no general methodology (if any exists) is mentioned, I hope that the reader will learn about the history of progress in auroral science and examples (right or wrong) of dealing with the controversies.
"Besides space physicists, the book will be interesting to historians and sociologists of science. Historians, because it is a history of an important era of space physics seen from the inside. Sociologists, because Akasofu has strong opinions about the interactions among scientists. Finally, this is a collector's book. It has a handsome binding with a nice picture of an aurora on the cover. It is unique in its mix of science, history, philosophy and exhortation. It is the kind of book that will still beguile a tug off the library shelf 100 years from now."
(EOS, 84:41 (October 2003)
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