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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Science’s 99 Percent

To the Editors:

I agree completely with Roald Hoffmann’s observation in Marginalia (March–April 2012) that change in chemistry and in human affairs “will come about through many small actions by individuals.” Textbooks attribute progress to single personalities (perhaps this tendency is mainly due to space limitations). But the real contribution is the accumulation of those many small actions by individuals—for instance, the 10n lab techs working feverishly in labs around the world. Despite the fact that they are not often hailed in publications, they can be called the “99 percent” of scientific progress.

Ronald F. Smith

St. Paul’s College

University of Manitoba


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