Scientists and Pioneers

In class, we read a passage from John M. Barry’s article titled “The Great Influenza.” Barry uses metaphor and repitition to characterize scientific research. A scientist must be creative and willing to venture into uncertainty.

I loved how he compared scientists to pioneers, and their field of study to an unknown wilderness. Branching off on this metaphor, I would add that in the wilderness, there are many dangers and obstacles that get in the way of progression. This directly relates to a scientist pursuing an experiment but running into obstacles like research funding, experimental procedures, and many other elements that halt the progression.

Scientists, like pioneers, may very often discover something revolutionary without any intent of doing so. While trying to answer one question, they may answer another that no one had previously thought of. I think the metaphor Barry used was very interesting and fitting.


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