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What they didnt tell me at school November 5, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in science.

….about the importance of dispassionate logic, moving from evidence to conclusion, checking assumptions and explicitly stating inferences and hypotheses.

I have been a student of science for about 18 years now. Science at school was about facts, models, calculations and problem solving. I had heard the phrase – “Scientific method” – but a phrase it was. ( Why else would I wonder how my biology friends in Class XI and XII studied rats, mice and frogs !! ). I may have been able to define and explain it but never had a feel for it. It wasnt until much later that I felt I had goten the spirit and even later before I realized that scientific method and the idea of the scientific method pervades life, that it exists outside the classrooms and our examinations.

Becoming a scientist is as much as a choice of profession as it is a choice of culture – a way of thinking, a commitment to sustained intellectual curiosity. By the same measure, while we might need formal education for academic positions and cutting-edge research, we can be scientists even without these, even if in a more a limited sense of the term. I am beginning to realize then that being a scientist is a state of mind.

As with other states of mind, if you havent been in that state, you will are likely to find the previous sentence rather cliched and hollow. [ Needless to say, the converse is not implied ]

A above passage is from here.



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