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Swetha Chandrasekar

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Student, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

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Is science just imagination in a straitjacket?

This week in my Bioelectricity class, we listened to an NPR interview with Frances Ashcroft. Ashcroft is a British scientist who made a discovery in 1984 that allows neonatal diabetes patients to take pills as insulin supplements instead of injections. In her interview, as she discussed her thoughts on the scientific process and developing her theory, she referenced a quote by Richard Feynman, is a renowned American theoretical physicist.
"Science is imagination in a straitjacket."
Many scientists would argue that science does not restrict imagination, but rather promotes it. How is it that a well renowned scientist and thinker like Feynman, could feel confined when seeking answers in science? Is science a vehicle for imagination or is it used to tie down imagination with facts? What experience could have caused him to have this opinion? Does science truly restrict the imagination as Feynman suggests, or is science a vehicle for imagination?


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    Feb 10 2013: G’day Swetha

    Imagination in a strait jacket definitely a yes on that one, if scientists never imagined what if’s science wouldn’t have evolved from philosophy & mysticism. Has science conducted itself freely within the imagination? Definitely not as it’s restricted by fundamental logical deductive analysis in other words dogmas.

    Imagination is a huge primary conductive source to a scientist as it allows the scientist to wonder which usually leads to theorising which can lead to a proven deduction with the source of the initial analysis.

    This is a good one Swetha!!


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