Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Misconceptions of Science

Science is an art. A mixture of knowledge and imagination, science needs creativity to even exist and without it there would be no expansion into the unknown. There is the misconception that science is not creative and is only dry and procedural.

Professor Jung in neurosurgery from University of New Mexico in Albuquerque is quoted, “I think we take for granted that we rely heavily on science creativity, whether we realize it or not...” (Ossola). People take for granted the “little” creativity it takes to pose a question or design an experiment. Children do it all the time, the question why. They ask why, and form new ideas of what is around them. Then use the knowledge and their creativity to expand upon that new found idea. Creativity is defined as: “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.” (dictionary.com). Children asking questions may not be the exact science that is taught in schools, but science is the “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation” (dictionary.com). They are observing and asking questions. Many great scientists have done that before: Newton who asked why the apple falls where it fell, Pythagoras (yes, the same man who is credited with the Pythagorean theorem) who asked if the earth is round, and so many more. “‘It really takes a level of creative thought to solve that problem’” (Cutraro), and they happened to have just that. Newton proved gravity with math. Pythagoras taught that the earth was round because the moon was round. They both expanded upon their world through creativity, they transcended traditional ideas. The world was flat, to everyone except Pythagoras. The apple fell where it fell just because, to everyone except Newton. This continues on into modern day, because without that spark of creativity there would be no advancement. (Palaclos, PhD).
Experiment design also has to have that spark. To form a whole new process to find the answer. Not all experiments are the same, they do not follow a set pattern or rule of creation. One must find new materials, new ways to figure out the answer. Many have posed the question of how to keep people safe with armor. The solutions have been: leather, metal, plastic. Recently a new material that could be used to protect people was invented. At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst they took carbon atoms and had them bond together in a honeycomb fashion. This created one of the strongest materials today, graphene, it can take micro-sized glass bullets at a speed of 6,700 miles per hour (that is three times the speed of M16) and it only takes 30 to 300 layers to stop it. On a large scale this could stop bullets and serious injuries from happening to those wearing it, graphene is much lighter than other material that is available for armor on the market. They took something no one else thought of doing and trying it out. Through that creativity they discovered not only one of the strongest materials on earth, but a great conductor too. (Dent).

The misconception that surrounds science is false. Creativity and science go hand and hand, they are in fact “the perfect couple” (Cellitioci). Science usually goes beyond traditional ideas and rules, if these “traditional” bounds are not pushed. Then what will become of the human race? There would be no expansion of knowledge and mankind would be stuck in the same rut.