Using the Site Preface Chapters Appendices Resources Errata Purchase the Book
Prerequisites
Aesthetic Pleasures
Intellectual Pleasures
Practical Necessities
Qualitative & Quantitative Skills
Field Observations, Measurements & Mapping
Acknowledgements
About the Authors
References Cited

Preface

         
Aesthetic Pleasures    
         
         
    The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it; and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing and life would not be worth living, ... . It is because simplicity and vastness are both beautiful that we seek by preference simple facts and vast facts; that we take delight, now in following the giant courses of the stars, now in scrutinizing with a microscope that prodigious smallness which is also a vastness, and now in seeking in geological ages the traces of the past that attracts us because of its remoteness (quoted in Chandrasekhar, 1979).    

 

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