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Which clippings match 'Scientific Progress' keyword pg.1 of 1
29 JANUARY 2016

Why Man Creates: the great (Western) progress narrative

"How unlikely that one of the least definable films from the last half-century would also be one of the most beloved. A favorite of classroom AV diversions, and an abridged presentation on the very first episode of '60 Minutes' helped make it the most viewed educational film of all time. 'I don't know what it all means,' Saul Bass himself admitted, and his 'Why Man Creates' (1968) is far more loose and playful than the rigid thesis its title might imply. In fact, it is the searching and open-ended nature of the various vignettes that perhaps makes the film resonate so strongly with viewers. Though an OscarĀ®-winner for Documentary Short Subject, the film is almost entirely invented, apart from recollections of old masters like Edison, Hemingway and Einstein, and brief encounters with scientists striving to innovate for the betterment of mankind. Creators invariably encounter problems, and have no choice but to persevere in the face of discouragement. If the film argues anything, it is that the unbridled pursuit of new ideas makes us uniquely human."

(Sean Savage)

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TAGS

1968Albert Einstein • Alfred Nobel • American Revolution • Ancient Greeceanimated filmArab • birth of civilization • cancer research • cave painting • cavemen • celebrating human achievement • creative inspirationcreativitydark ages • development of writing • dynamite • early humans • Ernest Hemingway • Euclid • Great Pyramids at Giza • Greek achievements • hand-drawn animationhistory of ideashuman civilizationinvention of the wheelinventiveness • James Bonner • Jesse Greenstein • Leonardo da VincilibertyLouis PasteurLudwig van Beethovenman • mathematical discovery • Mayo Simon • Michelangelo • nature of creativity • nature of justice • organised labour • origin of the universe • Paul Saltman • pioneering mathematicsprogress narratives • pursuit of happiness • religion • Renato Dulbecco • Saul Bassscience historyscientific progressThomas EdisonvignetteWestern culture • Why Man Creates (1968) • zero

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 APRIL 2015

Normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies

"Mop-ping-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others.[1] Instead, normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies.

Perhaps these are defects. The areas investigated by normal science are, of course, minuscule; the enterprise now under discussion has drastically restricted vision. But those restrictions, born from confidence in a paradigm, turn out to be essential to the development of science. By focusing attention upon a small range of relatively esoteric problems, the paradigm forces scientists to investigate some part of nature in a detail and depth that would otherwise be unimaginable. And normal science possesses a built-in mechanism that ensures the relaxation of the restrictions that bound research whenever the paradigm from which they derive ceases to function effectively. At that point scientists begin to behave differently, and the nature of their research problems changes. In the interim, however, during the period when the paradigm is successful, the profession will have solved problems that its members could scarcely have imagined and would never have undertaken without commitment to the paradigm."

(Thomas Kuhn, 1962, Vol. II, No. 2, p.24)

Thomas S. Kuhn (1962). "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions".

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1962 • accurate predictions • anomalies • ascendant revolution • Bernard Barber • conceptual continuity • development-by-accumulation • episodic model • history of science • history of scientific knowledge • logical positivism • logically determinate procedure • normal science • paradigm • paradigm shiftphilosophy of science • philosophy of scientific knowledge • puzzle-solving • realistic humanism • revolutionary science • science • scientific discovery • scientific knowledgescientific progress • scientific revolutions • sociology of scientific knowledge • Thomas Kuhn • useless science

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 SEPTEMBER 2014

The Prisoner: the cult British television series

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1960s • Alcatraz • allegory • Angelo Muscat • art and technologyballoonBritish televisionBritish television series • Butlins • captors • coastal resort • coastal village resort • Colin Gordon • countercultural themes • cult televisiondemocracy • Denis Shaw • drama series • Fenella Fielding • Frank Maher • freedom • gilded cage • Gwynedd • held prisoner • individuality • inmate • Kafkaesque • Leo McKern • meteorological balloon • mysterious place • ominous • Patrick McGoohan • Penrhyndeudraeth • personal identity • Peter Swanwick • plotting to escape • Portmeirion • prisoner • psychological drama • roverscience fictionscientific progresssecret agent • spy fiction • surrealistic setting • television series • The Prisoner (television) • villageWales • war of attrition • white balloon

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 DECEMBER 2008

The Future of Science...Is Art?

"Science needs the arts. We need to find a place for the artist within the experimental process, to rediscover what [Niels] Bohr observed when he looked at those cubist paintings. The current constraints of science make it clear that the breach between our two cultures is not merely an academic problem that stifles conversation at cocktail parties. Rather, it is a practical problem, and it holds back science's theories. If we want answers to our most essential questions, then we will need to bridge our cultural divide. By heeding the wisdom of the arts, science can gain the kinds of new insights and perspectives that are the seeds of scientific progress."

(Jonah Lehrer, Seed Magazine, January 16, 2008)

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artconceptualisationconstellationscreative practicediscoveryenquiry • experimental process • Niels Bohr • researchsciencescience needs the artsscientific progresstheory buildingtwo cultures

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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