How Advances in Science are Made

Other Talks
Monday, February 13, 2012 - 18:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
CULC Room 152
Nobel Laureate, Stanford University

Host: Carlos Sa de Melo, School of Physics

How advances in science are made, and how they may come to benefit mankind at large are complex issues. The discoveries that most infuence the way we think about nature seldom can be anticipated, and frequently the applications for new technologies developed to probe a specific characteristic of nature are also seldom clear, even to the inventors of these technologies. One thing is most clear: seldom do individuals make such advances alone. Rather, they result from the progress of the scientific community, asking questions, developing new technologies to answer those questions, and sharing their results and their ideas with others. However, there are indeed research strategies that can substantially increase the probability of one's making a discovery, and the speaker will illustrate some of these strategies in the context of a number of well known discoveries, including the work he did as a graduate student, for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1996.