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Lauren Ames, Jo Kent, Amneet Gulati, Adam Purtee

Faculty Sponsor: Christopher Kelty, Rice University Department of Anthropology

The Impact of the Scientific Revolution: A Brief History of the Experimental Method in the 17th Century

The American statesman Adlai Stevenson once said, America “can chart our future clearly and wisely only when weknow the path which has led to the present.”

1Applebaum, xi.
This is clearly true in the field of science and research. Today, as scientists experimentwith nanotechnology and venture into a wide variety of new scientific disciplines, it remains important to take a look back tothe origins of scientific discovery and understand some of the events that have shaped the world of science, and, moreimportantly, to realize how science behaves as an evolving process.


The beginning of the seventeenth century is known as the “scientific revolution” for the drastic changesevidenced in the European approach to science during that period. The word “revolution” connotes a period of turmoil and socialupheaval where ideas about the world change severely and a completely new era of academic thought is ushered in. This term,therefore, describes quite accurately what took place in the scientific community following the sixteenth century. During thescientific revolution, medieval scientific philosophy was abandoned in favor of the new methods proposed by Bacon, Galileo, Descartes,and Newton; the importance of experimentation to the scientific method was reaffirmed; the importance of God to science was for themost part invalidated, and the pursuit of science itself (rather than philosophy) gained validity on its own terms. The change tothe medieval idea of science occurred for four reasons: (1) seventeenth century scientists and philosophers were able tocollaborate with members of the mathematical and astronomical communities to effect advances in all fields; (2) scientistsrealized the inadequacy of medieval experimental methods for their work and so felt the need to devise new methods (some of which weuse today); (3) academics had access to a legacy of European, Greek, and Middle Eastern scientific philosophy they could use as astarting point (either by disproving or building on the theorems); and (4) groups like the British Royal Society helped validatescience as a field by providing an outlet for the publication of scientists’ work. These changes were not immediate, nor did theydirectly create the experimental method used today, but they did represent a step toward Enlightenment thinking (with an emphasis onreason) that was revolutionary for the time. Assessment of the state of science before the scientific revolution, examination ofthe differences in the experimental methods utilized by different “scientists” during the seventeenth century, and exploration intohow advances made during the scientific revolution affected the scientific method used in science today will provide an idea of howrevolutionary the breakthroughs of the seventeenth century really were and what impact they’ve had.

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Mueller Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Nanotechnology: content and context. OpenStax CNX. May 09, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10418/1.1
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