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A Critical Review Of Richard Feynman's "Why Do You Care What Other People Think?"

981 words - 4 pages

Richard Feynman was a scientist who dedicate his life to his work. What set him apart from other scientists was his acceptance of science into everyday life. A problem that many “average” people have with science is that it seems to go over their heads. It is a misconception that if you are scientific, you are not artistic or vise versa. It is a very alienating field of work, but Feynman was able to create a harmony between science and self expression. Through this, he was actually able to make non scientific minds think in a slightly more critical way. Unlike The Double Helix, Feynman was able to put his work in layman’s terms so readers outside of the scientific world were able to grasp ...view middle of the document...

Feynman justifies himself by stating that as a scientist, he is able to appreciate the beauty of a flower in a different way than an artist. Opposed to just look at it and seeing the colours and shapes, he can appreciate its beauty on a smaller, cellular level (Feynman, 11). This is the perfect introduction to What do you care what people think? because it sets Feynman’s tone for the rest of the book. Throughout this autobiographical book, Feynman is able to keep a balance between philosophy, humour and science. His charisma shines through the pages and he makes it very easy to sympathize along with him. The first half of the book may seem as though it is misplaced, but each life story he retells gives a glimpse of his style of working and how his questioning helped resolve the problems surrounding the Challenger disaster.

When Feynman was a child, he was spoiled with knowledge by his father and was taught that the knowledge he would acquire would make him important and successful. When Feynman was young and still religious he had his first experience of acquiring false knowledge. In Sunday school, he was told a story about a woman named Ruth who was in the Holocaust. Young Richard soon discovered that Ruth was not a real person, but a character made up to explain how the Jews has suffered during the Holocaust. Feynman explained that once he realized the story was untrue he felt as though he was losing something because he was “no longer sure of the data” (Feynman, 27). This illustrated Feynman’s lack of acceptance in the data he was being given while investigating The Challenger. During one of the many NASA discussions, Feynman questioned the engineers on what they thought was the probability of the engines failing during a flight. When he received data...

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