No one believes an hypothesis except its originator but everyone believes an experiment except the experimenter. Most people are ready to believe something based on experiment but the experimenter knows the many little things that could have gone wrong in the experiment. For this reason the discoverer of a new fact seldom feels quite so confident of it as others do. On the other hand other people are usually critical of an hypothesis, whereas the originator identifies himself with it and is liable to become devoted to it.
William Ian Beardmore Beveridge
Before an experiment can be performed, it must be planned-the question to nature must be formulated before being posed. Before the result of a measurement can be used, it must be interpreted-nature's answer must be understood properly. These two tasks are those of the theorist, who finds himself always more and more dependent on the tools of abstract mathematics. Of course, this does not mean that the experimenter does not also engage in theoretical deliberations. The foremost classical example of a major achievement produced by such a division of labor is the creation of spectrum analysis by the joint efforts of Robert Bunsen, the experimenter, and Gustav Kirchhoff, the theorist. Since then, spectrum analysis has been continually developing and bearing ever richer fruit.
Speaking of a future at most only decades away, an experimenter in intelligence control asserted, "I foresee a time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behavior and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.
But lest I should mislead any when I have my own head and obey my whims, let me remind the reader that I am only an experimenter.Do not set the least value on what I do, or the least discredit on what I do not, as if I pretended to settle any thing as true or false. I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Preconceived ideas are like searchlights which illumine the path of the experimenter and serve him as a guide to interrogate nature. They become a danger only if he transforms them into fixed ideas-this is why I should like to see these profound words inscribed on the threshold of all the temples of science: 'The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.'
There had always been a conflict in me between mystery and meaning. I had pursued tha latter, worshipped the latter as a doctor. As a socialist and rationalist. But then I saw that the attempt to scientize reality, to name it and categorize it and vivisect it out of existence, was like trying to remove the air from the atmosphere. In the creating of the vacuum it was the experimenter who died, because he was inside the vacuum.
Heredity is to-day the central problem of biology. This problem may be approached from many sides-that of the breeder, the experimenter, the statistician, the physiologist, the embryologist, the cytologist-but the mechanism of heredity can be studied best by the investigation of the germ cells and their development.
I never took drug to escape. I know some people take drugs to escape, but I took drugs because I was an experimenter. And an artist. And I was always trying to go to the other side of that veil and get information, like all writers have done through the millennia. To get some insights on how the whole thing works, if there's any way to know how it works, and write about it.
Experimental science is a craft and an art, and part of the art is knowing when to end a fruitless experiment. There is a danger of becoming obsessed with a fruitless experiment even if it goes nowhere. It is always a good plan for a speculative experimenter to have two experiments going, or at least one going and one being built.
Martin Lewis Perl
I started with the belief that every person who came to the laboratory was free to accept or to reject the dictates of authority. This view sustains a conception of human dignity insofar as it sees in each man a capacity for choosing his own behavior. And as it turned out, many subjects did, indeed, choose to reject the experimenter's commands, providing a powerful affirmation of human ideals.
The sequence of theorist, experimenter, and discovery has occasionally been compared to the sequence of farmer, pig, truffle. The farmer leads the pig to an area where there might be truffles. The pig searches diligently for the truffles. Finally, he locates one, and just as he is about to devour it, the farmer snatches it away.
Leon M. Lederman
There is in all of us a strong disposition to regard what is lawful as legitimate, so much so that many falsely derive all justice from law. It is sufficient, then, for the law to order and sanction plunder, that it may appear to many consciences just and sacred. Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them. If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is said directly-'You are a dangerous experimenter, a utopian, a theorist, a despiser of the laws; you would shake the basis upon which society rests.
Frequently, I have been asked if an experiment I have planned is pure or applied science; to me it is more important to know if the experiment will yield new and probably enduring knowledge about nature. If it is likely to yield such knowledge, it is, in my opinion, good fundamental research; and this is more important than whether the motivation is purely aesthetic satisfaction on the part of the experimenter on the one hand or the improvement of the stability of a high-power transistor on the other.
Mere numbers cannot bring out ... the intimate essence of the experiment. This conviction comes naturally when one watches a subject at work. ... What things can happen! What reflections, what remarks, what feelings, or, on the other hand, what blind automatism, what absence of ideas! ... The experimenter judges what may be going on in [the subject's] mind, and certainly feels difficulty in expressing all the oscillations of a thought in a simple, brutal number, which can have only a deceptive precision. How, in fact, could it sum up what would need several pages of description!
To be worthy of the name, an experimenter must be at once theorist and practitioner. While he must completely master the art of establishing experimental facts, which are the materials of science, he must also clearly understand the scientific principles which guide his reasoning through the varied experimental study of natural phenomena. We cannot separate these two things: head and hand. An able hand, without a head to direct it, is a blind tool; the head is powerless without its executive hand.
I'm an observer. I am fascinated by people and how their minds work (and, of course, my own). Why we are the way we are, why we do the things we do - and that interest drives my writing. I was a physicist before fiction claimed my soul, so I'm an experimenter. I'm open to different ways of thinking. I like exaggerating, making things up. I'm a very open, honest person in life and that's the way it should be, but when it comes to fiction, I want to pour a few sharp objects into the comfort zone. Our fears are powerful, yet we've all got a desire to laugh and be entertained. I could have followed the same path I do now as a scientist, examining how the brain works. Ironically I get much more freedom to experiment as a writer. That's why I love it.
Carla H. Krueger
Typically, defenders of experiments on animals do not deny that animals suffer. They cannot deny the animals' suffering, because they need to stress the similarities between humans and other animals in order to claim that their experiments may have some relevance for human purposes. The experimenter who forces rats to choose between starvation and electric shock to see if they develop ulcers (which they do) does so because the rat has a nervous system very similar to a human being's, and presumably feels an electric shock in a similar way.
John Dalton was a very singular Man: He has none of the manners or ways of the world. A tolerable mathematician He gained his livelihood I believe by teaching the mathematics to young people. He pursued science always with mathematical views. He seemed little attentive to the labours of men except when they countenanced or confirmed his own ideas... He was a very disinterested man, seemed to have no ambition beyond that of being thought a good Philosopher. He was a very coarse Experimenter and almost always found the results he required.-Memory and observation were subordinate qualities in his mind. He followed with ardour analogies and inductions and however his claims to originality may admit of question I have no doubt that he was one of the most original philosophers of his time and one of the most ingenious.
David Park is a physicist and philosopher at Williams College in Massachusetts with a lifelong interest in a time which he too thinks doesn't pass. For Park, the passage of time is not so much an illusion as a myth, "because it involves no deception of the senses... One cannot perform any experiment to tell unambiguously whether time passes or not." This is certainly a telling argument. After all, what reality can be attached to a phenomenon that can never be demonstrated experimentally? In fact, it is not even clear how to think about demonstrating the flow of time experimentally. As the apparatus, laboratory, experimenter, technicians, humanity generally and the universe as a whole are apparently caught up in the same inescapable flow, how can any bit of the universe be "stopped in time" in order to register the flow going on in the rest of it? It is analogous to claiming that the whole universe is moving through space at the same speed-or, to make the analogy closer, that space is moving through space. How can such a claim ever be tested?
What, more realistically, is this 'mutation, ' the 'new man'? He is the rootless man, discontinuous with a past that Nihilism has destroyed, the raw material of every demagogue's dream; the 'free-thinker' and skeptic, closed only to the truth but 'open' to each new intellectual fashion because he himself has no intellectual foundation; the 'seeker' after some 'new revelation, ' ready to believe anything new because true faith has been annihilated in him; the planner and experimenter, worshipping 'fact' because he has abandoned truth, seeing the world as a vast laboratory in which he is free to determine what is 'possible'; the autonomous man, pretending to the humility of only asking his 'rights, ' yet full of the pride that expects everything to be given him in a world where nothing is authoritatively forbidden; the man of the moment, without conscience or values and thus at the mercy of the strongest 'stimulus'; the 'rebel, ' hating all restraint and authority because he himself is his own and only god; the 'mass man, ' this new barbarian, thoroughly 'reduced' and 'simplified' and capable of only the most elementary ideas, yet scornful of anyone who presumes to point out the higher things or the real complexity of life.
This, not incidentally, is another perfect setting for deindividuation: on one side, the functionary behind a wall of security glass following a script laid out with the intention that it should be applied no matter what the specific human story may be, told to remain emotionally disinvested as far as possible so as to avoid preferential treatment of one person over another - and needing to follow that advice to avoid being swamped by empathy for fellow human beings in distress. The functionary becomes a mixture of Zimbardo's prison guards and the experimenter himself, under siege from without while at the same time following an inflexible rubric set down by those higher up the hierarchical chain, people whose job description makes them responsible, but who in turn see themselves as serving the general public as a non-specific entity and believe or have been told that only strict adherence to a system can produce impartial fairness. Fairness is supposed to be vested in the code: no human can or should make the system fairer by exercising judgement. In other words, the whole thing creates a collective responsibility culminating in a blameless loop. Everyone assumes that it's not their place to take direct personal responsibility for what happens; that level of vested individual power is part of the previous almost feudal version of responsibility. The deindividuation is actually to a certain extent the desired outcome, though its negative consequences are not.