OCT 26, 2014  

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What is science?

Itís going to be tautology when I say that science is what scientist do. Unfortunately, nowadays thatís probably as good definition as it gets. And then, who is a scientist? A huge proliferation of the label happened in the second half of the twentieth century - scientist is someone by occupation, not necessarily by his/her advances in human knowledge. Today, any research is labeled as science and scientific method (approach) has often been degraded to the blind usage of computer software. Science first became profession then business, thatís what happened.

There is hardly anything more exciting than science. Science shows us, and explains (at least to some degree), the wonders of microscopic world as well as the entire universe. More evidently, science is the base of the technologies by which humans dominate most other species on Earth. And yet, and regrettably, so much uncalled for and ludicrous work is sold under the name of science.

Now, wait a minute. Maybe all that Ďscientific garbageí is the price we have to pay for science to advance at present pace. I recall how only after a year, at the beginning of my scientific career, I felt disappointed with the insignificance of what I was doing. My adviser promptly reacted:


"True scientist is like a man who cuts down a huge tree and a new horizon appears. Then we come and make toothpicks from that tree. And many of us donít even notice the new horizon."

That hurts - not so much the toothpicks as the blindness to a new horizon.


Krešimir J. Adamić