The Method of Science

D C Kothari


The readers of Ishani may recall an earlier article on Nanotechnology by Prof. DC Kothari. We had carried it in the 15 July issue. We are happy to carry another article by him in our present issue. He deals in this article with the method of science as the title itself indicates. He explains the vitally relevant method that helps to arrive at the real nature of things or occurrences in our life and surroundings. This article was written some years back as the author himself mentions in his opening remarks. But the thoughts contained in the article have permanent worth.
With the long experience of teaching that the author has, this article is in the nature of presentation to a class of students. It is not crowded with jargon and so it is intelligible to even a common man.Written in simple style and lucid language, it is highly readable. There are some sentences in the article which are worth quoting here: “In science we define truth as an answer arrived at by using the method of science.... Science possesses no articles of faith. Science has no prejudices. Science is not orthodox. Science is not conservative. In science you have a right to question.”
“An important attribute of science is the right to question. Knowledge advances and science progresses because people exercise their right to question.”
The author explains elaborately the method of science which mainly involves Question, Hypothesis, Experiment, Answer. The author tells us that, “We must apply this method in everyday life and in every sphere of human activity.”
It is pertinent to draw attention of the readers to an important quotation of Jawaharlal Nehru which is quoted by the author in this article. Our first Prime Minister tells us that applications of science are inevitable and unavoidable for all countries and people today but more important is, “the scientific approach, the adventurous and yet critical temper of science, the search for the truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trials.” It is a matter of pride for every Indian that India today can be described as a first-rank nation as far as her achievement in the field of science are concerned. Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation of scientific progress in the country. This progress can certainly be considered as one of his major achievements.

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