Category Archive: “Is the Scientific Paper Fraudulent?”

The Saturday Review, 1 August 1964. »

A travesty of the nature of scientific thought

The scientific paper in its orthodox form does embody a totally mistaken conception, even a travesty, of the nature of scientific thought. …

The scientific paper is a fraud in the sense that it does give a totally misleading narrative of the processes of thought that go into the making of scientific discoveries. The inductive format of the scientific paper should be discarded. The discussion which in the traditional scientific paper goes last should surely come at the beginning. The scientific facts and scientific acts should follow the discussion, and scientists should not be ashamed to admit, as many of them apparently are ashamed to admit, that hypotheses appear in their minds along uncharted by-ways of thought; that they are imaginative and inspirational in character; that they are indeed adventures of the mind.