Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Beyond the Procedure

Most people consider science to be a systematic and logical method of study. This makes sense given the strict idea of experimental design, but really breaks down when looking at any individual scientist or experiment. There is a step by step formula in the progression of any given experiment, but how the scientist goes about each step may be completely different. Society characterises scientists as mere thought factories, they are inputted questions and output answers. Science is not so uninvolved. How are procedural barriers solved? How come results can be argued over on what they mean? Shouldn't there only one output for each input if this system is truly functional? Also where do you think questions come from in the first place. All of this is generated by passion, and genuine interest. Science is truly an art, that is merely contained by this manageable system known as experimental design. This can be proved. If science is supposed to be systematic, and logical, why are the best minds known to science, so abstract, creative, and removed from the norms of logic? When thinking of this description, two names come to mind immediately: Michael Faraday, and Albert Einstein. These two are some of the greatest scientists know today, but thought far out of the known box of accepted reality.
Michael Faraday grew up as a son of a blacksmith in a poor family. Sometimes he would have to live off of just one loaf of bread a week.(5) This same man just happens to be the one who discovered electromagnetism. How did such a man succeed? He was passionate about electrochemistry. He read nonstop trying to educate himself as much as possible, on the side of being an apprentice for a printing company just to scrape by. Not only was he driven, but extremely imaginative as well. It is said that he thought in pictures. When posed the question of why a compass changed when next to an electric current, he reorganised the set up and saw a magnetic field in his mind. At the time no one had a clue that magnetism and electricity were related, but he was able to picture the relationship.(4) This was a laughable assumption at the time, but he fought to prove what he saw for years until concluded by ornsted and amiere. He was a scientific genius. His genius was a product of passion and abstract thought though, outside the most notable contemporary requirements of a scientist.
Albert Einstein is also a very well know scientist, and for good reasons too. He created the theory of relativity, and really developed what we know today as quantum physics. His work gained him the title of most influential physicist of the twentieth century(1). He did not get there randomly, he used his great mind to get there. His mind worked similarly to Faraday's in that he also thought in pictures. His greatest progressions in science came from visualizing something and then trying to prove it(2). The reason he was capable of this higher state of thought was due to the development of the connective tissues between his lobe. He required both hemispheres to think the way he did.(3) His mind worked so abstractly, but became one of the most important scientists of all time. He did not follow every rule and step by step instruction of science, and he still came to the right answer. That is art. That is beautiful.
Experimental design represents science at the most basic level. This is something every highschooler understands and can hopefully replicate. The next level science, is where it become more of an art. In order to further science, scientists must be intuitive and creative. They must be involved and passionate. They must be able to think beyond the simple step by step procedure.

Works cited
1 "Albert Einstein." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
2 @Designntrend. "Einstein's Ingenuity Explained By More Connections Between Brain's Hemispheres." Design & Trend. N.p., 05 Oct. 2013. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
3 Isaacson, Walter. "20 Things You Need to Know About Einstein." Time. Time Inc., 05 Apr. 2007. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
4 Joesam91. "Michael Faraday | A Documentary." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Apr. 2016. Web.
5 "Michael Faraday." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.