Science beyond boundary: are premature discoveries things of the past? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Mendel's name more than of any other draws our attention to the personal side in terms of success and failure in science. Mendel lived 19 years after presenting his research findings and died without receiving any recognition for his work. Are premature discoveries things of the past, you may ask? I review the material basis of science in terms of science boundary and field accessibility and analyze the possibility of premature discoveries in different fields of science such as, for example, physics and biology. I conclude that science has reached a stage where progress is being made mostly by pushing the boundary of the known from inside than by leaping across boundaries. As more researchers become engaged in science, and as more publications become open access, on-line, and interactive, the probability of an important discovery remaining buried and going unrecognized would become exceedingly small. Of course, as examples from physics show, a new theory or an important idea can always lie low, unrecognized until it becomes re-discovered and popularized by other researchers. Thus, premature discoveries will become less likely but not forbidden.

publication date

  • June 2016