Appropriating the Weather: Part I

I have been reading Appropriating the Weather:  Vilhelm Bjerknes and The Construction of Modern Meteorology by Robert Mac Friedman.

I finished the first part today.  What I find interesting about this first part is how scientists argue with each other.  Some of the things they say about each other are quite vicious, such as:

“His name is Muller, and he is supposedly an authority because he knows how to integrate.  In his attach he has blundered so pitiably that I can defend myself by going on the offensive, which after all is correct according to the rules of the art of war.  And this will be an offensive he won’t forget…so that in the future I can avodi such sudde attacks by scientific half-cultivated ‘authorities.'”  (Friedman, 46-47)

This gem should also be disappointing to meteorologists:  “A physicist who goes into meteorology is lost.  So it went with Mascart.  So it went with Bezold.”  (Friedman, 48)

These guys are shooting straight fire at each other.

Another thing that is clear to me, from reading this section, is that meteorology was not considered a real science for a long time, as it was thought to be without mathematical rigour.  In reality, the equations are there, they were just more complicated than the physicists were willing to explore at the time.

This book is quite dense, and I can only read it in small quantities at a time, but I am enjoying it.

Thank you for reading my post.

Friedman, Robert Marc.  Appropriating the Weather:  Vilhelm Bjerknes and the Construction of a Modern Meteorology.   Cornell University Press, 1989.


About highplainschasing

This blog is about my tales in storm chasing. My name is Seth Price and I am an instrumentation instructor at New Mexico Tech. My amateur radio call sign is N3MRA.
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