Warning: Scientists Are Becoming Too Much Like Chefs

If you have worked or lived in Boston, you know that when you ride the subway to the airport, the final destination of the train you take is Wonderland. It always makes me smile to think that when I go from the airport to one of the great centers of modern science in the world, my train is moving away from Wonderland. Is this just a coincidence of names or is it a prophecy for what is now happening to science? Are we moving from a wonderland where science is fun, a thirst for knowledge and new

Maria De Sousa
Jan 8, 1989

If you have worked or lived in Boston, you know that when you ride the subway to the airport, the final destination of the train you take is Wonderland. It always makes me smile to think that when I go from the airport to one of the great centers of modern science in the world, my train is moving away from Wonderland. Is this just a coincidence of names or is it a prophecy for what is now happening to science? Are we moving from a wonderland where science is fun, a thirst for knowledge and new understanding, to a world in which scientists are becoming somewhat less than wisdom seekers and something more like chefs?

In almost every scientific discipline, the practice of experiments is governed by the same fairly elementary law: change one ingredient (that is, variable) at a time and record the conditions of that change. Thus,...

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