The journey of scientific discovery: Why is it important to use the same (or similar) tools when digging?

Getting from an idea to the ultimate goal of intellectual gold (knowledge) can be long and winding for each researcher. Nevertheless, this process involves the same four steps, regardless of the question: 1) digging into the papers, 2) then into theories, 3) back into papers, and 4) ultimately running experiments. In steps one to three, scientists can take a personalized approach, choosing which papers and theories to use to develop new studies. In step four, however, scientists try to use the same (or very similar) tools as all other scientists so they can compare and confirm the intellectual gold (knowledge), allowing them to continue updating and developing theories.

The journey of scientific discovery: More than one way to dig for gold

Research requires scientists to do all sorts of digging when looking for new scientific discoveries. For example, they dig into papers, then into theories, back into papers, and ultimately into experiments to find intellectual gold (knowledge). However, before digging, experimenters must choose which tool to dig with as there is not a one-size-fits-all tool.

The journey of scientific discovery: How scientists find new gold

Scientists have the reputation of being locked up in an ivory tower: from the outside it seems they are often more concerned with seemingly useless theoretical problems, rather than useful practical ones. In this article series, I would like to explain why scientists spend so much time on their apparent frivolous theories, and hopefully convince you that they do so for good reason.