Science is divided into innumerable disciplines and sub disciplines, but within any single discipline the progress of science calls for the most diverse activities – activities so numerous and diverse that if would seem that any person could find one to his or her taste. Outsiders often regard science as a sober enterprise, but we who are inside see it as the most romantic of all callings. Both views are right. The romance adheres to the processes of scientific discovery, the sobriety to the responsibility for verification.
Histories of science put the spotlight on discovery. Everyone knows by what accident Fleming discovered penicillin, but only specialists can tell us much about how that discovery was put to the test. Everyone knows of Kekule's dream of the benzene ring, but only chemists can tell us why the structure of that molecule was problematic, and how and when it was finally decided that the problem had been solved. The story of scientific progress reaches its periodic climaxes at the moments of discovery; verification is the essential thing.
In the philosophy of science, all the emphasis is on verification, on how we can tell the true gold of scientific law from the untested fantasy. In fact, it is still the majority view among philosophers of science that only verification is a proper subject of inquiry, that nothing of philosophical interest can be said about the process of discovery. In one respect the philosophers are right. What distinguishes science from the other works of the human imagination is precisely the insistence on testing, on subjecting hypotheses to the most intense scrutiny with the help of empirical evidence. If we are to distinguish science from poetry, we must have a theory of verification or confirmation that tells us exactly how to make that distinction.
But we believe that science is also poetry. The discovery has its reasons, as poetry does. However romantic and heroic we find the moment of discovery, we cannot believe either that the events leading up to that moment are entirely random and chaotic or that they require genius that can be understood only by congenial minds. We believe that finding order in the world must itself be a process impregnated with purpose and reason. We believe that the process of discovery can be described and modeled, and that there are better and worse routes to discovery – more and less efficient paths.
Do we think it is possible to write books of advice to poets? Are we not aware that writing poems (and making scientific discoveries) is a creative process, sometimes even calling for genius? But we can avoid dangerous terms like "genius" by asking more modest questions. We can at least inquire into the sufficient conditions for making a poem (or a discovery). If writing poetry calls for creativity, it also calls for craft. A poet becomes a craftsman (if not a creative poet) by long study and practice. We might aspire to distill and write down what a poet learns in his life. If we did that, we would have a book on the writing of poetry (there are some such on the library shelves). Thus, the question of how poetry is written (or can or should be written) becomes a researchable question, one that can be approached with the standard methods of scientific inquiry. This is no less true of scientific discovery than it is of poetry. Whether there is method in discovery is a question whose answer is open to scientific study. We may fail to find methods that account for discovery, or for the greater success of some would-be discoverers than of others, but we are free to look for them. And if we arrive at some hypotheses about them, then we must test these just as we test any other hypotheses in science.
I. Read the text and find answers to the following questions.
1) What is a scientist? ( the definition of this word).
Is there any difference between the word «scientist» in a broad sense and restricted senses?
What is this difference?
How are scientists distinct from engineers?
Is there any difference between theoreticians and experimentalists scientists? What is this difference?
How can scientists be motivated?
A scientist, in a broad sense, is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word. Scientists perform research toward a more comprehensive understanding of nature, including physical, mathematical and social realms. Philosophy can be seen as a distinct activity, which is aimed towards a more comprehensive understanding of intangible aspects of reality and experience that cannot be physically measured.
Scientists are also distinct from engineers, those who design, build and maintain devices for particular situations. When science is done with a goal toward practical utility, it is called applied science. An applied scientist may not be designing something in particular, but rather is conducting research with the aim of developing new technologies and practical methods. When science is done with an inclusion of some aspects of reality it is called natural philosophy. Science and technology have continually modified human existence through the engineering process. As a profession the scientist of today is widely recognized. Scientists include theoreticians who mainly develop new models to explain existing data and predict new results, and experimentalists who mainly test models by making measurements – though in practice the division between these activities is not clear-cut, and many scientists perform both tasks. Mathematics is often grouped with the sciences. Some of the greatest physicists have also been creative mathematicians. There is a continuum from the most theoretical to the most empirical scientists with no distinct boundaries. In terms of personality, interests, training and professional activity, there is little difference between applied mathematicians and theoretical physicists. Scientists can be motivated in several ways. Many have a desire to understand why the world is as we see it and how it came to be. They exhibit a b curiosity about reality. Other motivations are recognition by their peers and prestige, or the desire to apply scientific knowledge for the benefit of people's health, the nations, the world, nature or industries (academic scientist and industrial scientist).
II. Give Russian equivalents to the following English words and word combinations .
|1) to acquire knowledge||a) всестороннее понимание|
|2) areas of science||b) обслуживать устройства|
|3) comprehensive understanding||c) прикладная наука|
|4) to maintain devices||d) получать знания|
|5) applied science||e) существование человека|
|6) human science||f) область науки|
|7)to explain data||g) четкие границы|
|8) b curiosity||h) сильная любознательность|
|9) to make measurements||i) проводить измерения|
|10) distinct boundaries||j) объяснить данные|
III. Match a word in A with its synonym in B:
|1) to use||a) to conduct|
|2) desire||b) aim|
|3) to design||c) wish|
|4) to perform||d) to apply|
|5) goal||e) to project|
IV. Read the text and find English equivalents to the following Russian words and word combinations.
1) в широком смысле
2) проводить научные исследования
3) деятельность, отличная от других
4) разрабатывать новую технологию
5) практическая польза
6) предсказывать результаты
7) применять научные знания
8) испытывать модели
9) существующие данные
10) заниматься систематической деятельностью
V. Speak about scientists using these prompts:
– to acquire knowledge
– to use scientific method
– to perform / conduct research
– comprehensive understanding of nature
– an applied scientist
– to develop new technology
– to explain existing data
– to predict new results
– theoreticians and experimentalists
– a b curiosity about reality
– to apply scientific knowledge