Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 17:08:24 -0500
Reply-To: "Fehd, Ronald J. (CDC/CCHIS/NCPHI)" <rjf2@CDC.GOV>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: "Fehd, Ronald J. (CDC/CCHIS/NCPHI)" <rjf2@CDC.GOV>
Subject: quote: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
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I have seen Paul 'HashMan' Dorfman
use this quote several times
and came across it while reading
Richard Sennett's book: The Craftsman, pg 79
"His secrets died with him" casts a a particular shadow in science.
The sociologist Robert K. Merton sought to explain knowledge transfer
in science by invoking the famous image of
"standing on the shoulders of giants."
By that he meant two things:
first, that the work of great scientists sets the terms of reference,
the orbits, within which lesser standard scientists revolve;
and second, that knowledge is additive and accumulative;
it builds up in time as people stand on the giants' shoulders,
like those human pillars in the circus.
Robert K. Merton, On the Shoulders of Giants,
New York: Free Press, 1965.