The Business of Science: Model Building

Posted 3 years, 11 months ago | Originally written on 4 May 2020

I think it is safe to state without any contradiction that science is in the business of validated discovery of new knowledge. This enterprise primarily consists of appending to the volume of what is known (generally referred to as publishing) through a process that is objective for the most part. There is but one volume to which scientists write and the main contention is priority - who gets to be the first to write knowledge that is instrumental for later developments. This understanding explains the possibility of simultaneous independent discovery: the source (the volume) informs the same cause (the problem at hand) hence the possibility of the same outcome.

However, there is a unit of measure by which knowledge advances. Every scientist's role ultimately involves model building either through creation or augmentation. The nature of the modelling may differs across diverse fields but ultimately every scientist works with models. Models range in tangibility from the ethereality of theoretical models, often too lofty for present practice, to the more mundane involving common experience that may be verified by simple reflection.