Chest 132; Discovery

21 Jan
Chest 132 J

Chest 132; Discovery

Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.”
― Albert Szent-Györgyi

As a recent challenge the word Discovery was given to me and I have spent quite some time pondering how to describe this in pictorial terms. For me discovery can be as prosaic as getting into a boat and discovering an island not previously known about. But ‘ideally’ scientific discovery comes about through the scientific method – instructions whereby an investigator may lead from a point of ignorance to a position of knowledge. In order to do this, a proposition – a hypothesis – is made, and that is then justified. There is a clear logic that tests whether the hypothesis works or not, but – and this is the important point – there are no rules to guide someone to formulate a correct hypothesis; one that is either plausible, or fruitful.

It is helpful to look at scientific discoveries made by lucky accident or imaginative leaps. An example of the first is that Sildenafil citrate, otherwise known as Viagra, was first developed as a drug for hypertension and angina pectoris for which it was found to be pretty ineffective. However by lucky accident it was discovered to have another physiological effect which we all know about. On the other hand, August Kekulé studying the chemistry of Benzene in 1855 was stuck trying to work out the structure of the molecule. It is alleged; he was half asleep in front of a fire gazing into the hot coals when the flames formed themselves into a snake eating its own tail (Ouroboros) and it came to him that the molecules of carbon in Benzene formed a ring – an example of an inspirational discovery.

So although there is claimed to be an orthodox logic in scientific discovery, discoveries are entangled with irrational thought. There’s been interesting research to show that trying to generate a hypothesis from evidence alone can be unproductive. A good hypothesis often introduces variables that do not figure in available data.

My image illustrates the birth of an idea, Our of the complex darkness, comes a moment of enlightenment. The discovery of a hypothesis from the coming-together of thought, cogitation. A discovery flung out sideways.





4 Responses to “Chest 132; Discovery”

  1. annerose January 21, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    What a wonderful thing to illustrate, the spark of a new thing. This is wonderful, Tony!

  2. Carolyn Gallon January 21, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

    Seeing the light of understanding! Very powerful work Tony. Creative discovery in the arts, has always fascinated me. That feeling of “getting” what one was subconsciously trying to achieve. It’s not a feeling of satisfaction. Rather a spur to stretch, explore, refine and expand upon that stepping stone.

  3. leecleland January 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    Very powerful and graphic even without the explanatory notes Tony. Love where your thinking took you on this one.

  4. elmediat February 10, 2016 at 7:06 am #

    Excellent post – text & image works very effectively. 🙂

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