Posts Tagged ‘Kuhn’

Science paradigm-shifts for dummies

August 15, 2013 3 comments

20130815-105741.jpg In his landmark book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn describes how science progresses through phases of continuous improvement in-between paradigm shifts.

An emerging scientific paradigm (which can be referred to as a theory or a model) can be compared to a net which is just good enough to hold a few large pieces of evidence that have been observed – but so far not grasped – by the scientific community. At the risk of overworking the metaphor, picture a net-bag holding Newton’s apple: as a bag, it is rather unsophisticated, but it is good enough to catch the apple as it falls. If it also manages to catch a few other pieces of fruit, the bag becomes effective and consistent enough in the eyes of the scientific community, that everyone adopts it as THE bag that will enable them to grasp ANY piece of fruit. A paradigm is born and everyone believes in its abiliy to explain the whole world.

Read more…


To innovate, get out!

January 24, 2010 6 comments

To innovate it is useful to know something about the topic. Picasso was a painter before founding the cubist movement, sir Godfrey Hounsfield was an electrical engineer before creating the CT Scanner.

Paradoxically, as Thomas S. Kuhn demonstrates in The structure of scientific revolutions, innovation usually comes from people on the outer edge of their field, as opposed to the core establishment who are mentally and emotionally over-invested in the dominant paradigm. Read more…