What role does the "human factor" play in the scientific process? How does it influence discovery? This volume examines the role of the scientist in the process of understanding the world. Perlman emphasises the interactive human character of scientific inquiry, a dynamic interplay between human beings and their surroundings embodying attempts to understand, anticipate, and cope with nature. Scientists, ancient or modern, are seen as a conscious part of nature, interacting both physically and mentally with the world, forming an open system with what is observed, measured and explained. Perlman takes a historical approach, addressing the early search for natural order, recognition of rhythms in nature, the use of guiding faiths or assumptions, building conceptual models and projecting them upon nature, feedback, perpetual modification and reorganisation of ideas, and the eventual recognition of interlocking scientific worlds. He also addresses scientific survival techniques, learning from experience, natural causes in the scientific process, conceptual images and science and society.