How science is supposed to work

Doug’s blog Nanoscale Views is one that I enjoy reading. Here is his latest post on how science is supposed to work:

There’s an old quote from Isaac Asimov that is very true:  “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…’.”  In my group, we recently had an experience that supports this, and it highlights what I think is some of the most fun you can have as an experimental scientist:  trying to use the tools at your disposal to learn as much as you can about what’s behind some unexpected and surprising phenomenon.

It’s been science-as-puzzle-solving, trying to figure out what could be going on here.  We came up with many possible explanations, and tried to come up with ways to test the possibilities, eliminating the ones that didn’t fit.  … it’s a good example of how sometimes systems that you think are dull can surprise you, and how science is supposed to work.

A nice one!


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