Program Introduction: Early Stage Science
Kerry Vaughan, Geoff Anders, Mindy McTeigue
Working Paper (v1.9)
Original: November 2019. Last Updated: January 2020.
Scientific progress is responsible for some of the most amazing developments in human history. It has enabled us to cure diseases, increase agricultural yields, and travel quickly and safely across the globe. As such, the opportunity to enable progress in science can be very valuable.
Having studied examples from the history of science, we believe it is possible to describe how early discoveries led to the creation of impressive and sophisticated scientific disciplines. By understanding the methodologies used by the researchers at key points in the past, as well as the social and institutional contexts that enabled them to make progress, we believe it may be possible to help modern researchers make progress in new or stagnating fields.
In this paper, we outline a research program designed to investigate this hypothesis. We describe three important examples from the history of science, identify a phenomenon worth studying, state a specific formulation of our hypothesis, and describe our research methodology.
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