Geneticist and president of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse discusses the book Conjectures and Refutations by Karl Popper and how it rescued his career as a research scientist.
Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse explains how Karl Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations" rescued his career as a research scientist. He read it at a time when he was dispirited by his experimental research methods. Popper's work "helped me out of my intellectual crisis," he says. "It showed me a way to think about my experiments and how to use them to develop more general scientific ideas." The philosopher recommended a new way of thinking about what to study, based on "intuitive leaps of the imagination". This procedure - of a cycle of bold conjectures, which are tested and refuted - dramatically liberated Sir Paul's thinking about how to advance scientific knowledge.
Producer: Smita Patel.
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