Dr. Cogan Reflection

I enjoyed Dr. Cogan’s presentation because I thought it was interesting to think about how things like air were thought about before they were “discovered.” It’s interesting to think about how mysterious air must have been to people back then, when it seems to be common knowledge now, no surprises. That is, if “common people,” people who weren’t the scientific discoverers, back then even thought about air enough to be curious of it.

I also think it’s interesting that Priestly was pretty much just a catalyst for other scientific thinkers. That is, he sparked ideas for others, probably without realizing he had done so.

I liked the discussion on what sorts of things go into creating a scientific revolution.  We talked about how funding is needed as a societal aspect. This would mean that whatever discoveries you hope to get out of the revolution have some benefit to whoever is paying their support for it. So I think sometimes, in any revolution, you need enough people, or maybe the “right” people, to be desperate enough to want solutions to be able to get anything done!

One thought on “Dr. Cogan Reflection

  1. There is, for obvious reasons, a lot of research going into what conditions lead to breakthrough ideas. Yes, I think we hit on many of then including the fact that drive and finances are particularly important, especially today. I think it may have been less important in Priestly’s day. As you state, back then it may have taken just a few key people with just enough money to have a bit of free time to follow their personal passion. Whether there are any major breakthroughs to come through this type of experimentation is unclear, but I would guess doubtful.

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