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Science as AutobiographyThe Troubled Life of Niels Jern$
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Thomas Soderqvist

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300094411

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300094411.001.0001

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“This Theory Hadn't Made Much of a Stir, So Now, What Was I to Do?”

“This Theory Hadn't Made Much of a Stir, So Now, What Was I to Do?”

(p.209) 16 “This Theory Hadn't Made Much of a Stir, So Now, What Was I to Do?”
Science as Autobiography

Thomas Söderqvist

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Niels Jerne's departure from Pasadena. Students, visiting researchers, and staff wrote their goodbyes. “Have a miserable trip; I hate you (but love Adda),” wrote George Streisinger. The next day, the Jernes flew to New York to sail back to Europe. In the week it took to cross the Atlantic, Jerne buried himself in Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript, a tract on inwardness that mentally prepared him for his return to Denmark. A week with the “subjective problem” was also, he thought, “a valuable antidote” to the endless suburban streets of Pasadena, to Delbruck and his desert excursions, and, not least, to “the objectivism which is spreading so deplorably among the educated [classes],”as he expressed it in a letter to Stent.

Keywords:   Niels Jerne, inwardness, Pasadena, George Streisinger, Kierkegaard, subjective problem, objectivism

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