Science In Barry's 'The Great Influenza'

1185 Words 5 Pages
Exploring the Unknown
Science is one that is often thought of as a methodical process. Students are taught to follow a set group of rules to achieve a predictable result. But, once these students are actually engaged in the reality of the scientific world, they find out that scientific research is far more complex and adventurous expanding beyond this simple ruleset they are presented with They learn that science embraces the risk of being wrong and pushes its pursuer to explore knowledge that had previously never been explored. Scientists are expected to grasp knowledge that no one had ever before been presented with, making the field of scientific research one filled with risk and unpredictability. In the excerpt from The Great Influenza,
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In the world of research, “a single step can take one off a cliff,” meaning one seemingly small mistake can lead to disaster. In a split second everything one is reaching for and working towards can come crashing down, leaving the researcher with no hope of ever retrieving it. Therefore, the uncertainty of the path taken while conducting scientific research is evident due to the precision and attention it requires. Barry also argues that “even the least ambiguous [scientists] deal with the unknown,” implying that there is no way you can avoid dealing with the mystery and risk that is engrained in the field, leading to the conclusion that uncertainty in science is inevitable. In addition, the passage also compares conducting scientific research is like looking “through the looking glass into a world that seems entirely different.” The sharp contrast created between the world as it is habitually seen and how a scientist sees it reveals how unclear and indeterminate the scientific process is. Being so different from how most people see the world, it is as if the perspective of a scientist is one that has pulled from a children’s fantasy novel, characterizing the world of science as unpredictable and even fantastical. Looking at the world through a scientific lends warps one’s perspective of it, allowing for the exploration of the fine details of life through science. In conclusion, everything becomes an opportunity for discovery and everything that seemed to be set in stone can still be

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