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Everyday Practice of ScienceWhere Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic$
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Frederick Grinnell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195064575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195064575.001.0001

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Learning New Things about the World

(p.21) 2 DISCOVERY
Everyday Practice of Science

Frederick Grinnell

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 describes discovery in science: exploration at the frontiers of knowledge, becoming first to know something new, and establishing intellectual ownership by making public a discovery claim. Every scientist faces Plato's paradox — the tendency to find that for which one is looking. Noticing the unexpected frequently provides the key to transcending this paradox, and unintended experiments often provide the opportunities. Each researcher has a unique thought style that depends on education, experience, and temperament and influences every aspect of discovery: what to study, what experiments to do, what distinguishes data from background noise. Thought styles explain the researcher's courage to pursue convictions despite community skepticism and experimental difficulties. Discovery transforms the researcher's thought style and world view. Collaboration among researchers and introduction of new research technologies enhance possibilities for this transformation to occur.

Keywords:   collaboration, courage, discovery, education, experience, exploration, noticing, technology, thought style, skepticism

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