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Sir Paul Nurse on Conjectures and Refutations

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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15 minutes

Last on

Wed 17 Aug 2016 22:45


The Book that Changed Me

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

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