Record Details

Catalog Search

The icepick surgeon : murder, fraud, sabotage, piracy, and other dastardly deeds perpetrated in the name of science  Cover Image Book Book

The icepick surgeon : murder, fraud, sabotage, piracy, and other dastardly deeds perpetrated in the name of science / Sam Kean.

Kean, Sam, (author.).

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780316496506
  • ISBN: 0316496502
  • Physical Description: vi, 360 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., 2021.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 325-348) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue: Cleopatra's legacy -- Introduction -- Piracy: the buccaneer biologist -- Slavery: the corruption of the flycatcher -- Grave-robbing: Jekyll & Hyde, Hunter & Knox -- Murder: the professor and the janitor -- Animal cruelty: the war of the currents -- Sabotage: the bone wars -- Oath-breaking: ethically impossible -- Ambition: surgery of the soul -- Espionage: the variety act -- Torture: the white whale -- Malpractice: sex, power, and money -- Fraud: superwoman -- Conclusion -- Appendix: The future of crime.
Summary, etc.:
Science is a force for good in the world--at least usually. But sometimes, when obsession gets the better of scientists, they twist a noble pursuit into something sinister. Under this spell, knowledge isn't everything, it's the only thing--no matter the cost. Bestselling author Sam Kean tells the true story of what happens when unfettered ambition pushes otherwise rational men and women to cross the line in the name of science, trampling ethical boundaries and often committing crimes in the process. The Icepick Surgeon masterfully guides the reader across two thousand years of history, beginning with Cleopatra's dark deeds in ancient Egypt. The book reveals the origins of much of modern science in the transatlantic slave trade of the 1700s, as well as Thomas Edison's mercenary support of the electric chair and the warped logic of the spies who infiltrated the Manhattan Project. But the sins of science aren't all safely buried in the past. Many of them, Kean reminds us, still affect us today. We can draw direct lines from the medical abuses of Tuskegee and Nazi Germany to current vaccine hesitancy, and connect icepick lobotomies from the 1950s to the contemporary failings of mental-health care. Kean even takes us into the future, when advanced computers and genetic engineering could unleash whole new sways to do one another wrong. Unflinching, and exhilarating to the last page, The Icepick Surgeon fuses the drama of scientific discovery with the illicit thrill of a true-crime tale. With his trademark wit and precision, Kean shows that, while science has done more good than harm in the world, rogue scientists do exist, and when we sacrifice morals for progress, we often end up with neither. -- From dust jacket.
Subject: Science > Moral and ethical aspects.
Research > Moral and ethical aspects.
Science > History.
Scientists > Professional ethics.
Medical ethics.
Ethics, Research
Ethics, Medical
Bioethical Issues
Professional Ethics
History of Medicine
Natural History
TRUE CRIME / Historical.
SCIENCE / History.
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Human Anatomy & Physiology.
Genre: True crime stories.

Available copies


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
East Grand Forks Campbell Library 174.95 KEAN 2021 (Text) 523040 Non-Fiction Available -

Additional Resources