9 May 2016

The scientific experiment in the Modern Age. A presentation by Dr Peter Heering

Submitted by Ilia Christantoni

Dr. Peter Heering presented "The scientific experiment in the Modern Age" in the National Hellenic Research Foundation-Institute of Historical Research for project SOW.

The history of the modern scientific method and the experiment is rooted in the ancient empirical approach of Nature through reasoning. Aristotle introduced the necessity for measurement and observation, and the Sciences as we know them in many aspects today were born from an evidential study of the Cosmos, which was continued during the Middle Ages. It is this very scientific method from which the so-called “experiment” evolved in modern times, becoming the main approach in Sciences for the measurement and evaluation of hypotheses based on observation.

The evolution of the modern experiment from the Renaissance to the 20th century was the topic of the lecture by Prof. Dr Peter Heering, Specialist on the History of Science and Science Education at the Institute of Mathematic, Scientific and Technical Literacy of the Europa-Universität, Flensburg.

Prof. Heering focused on the social implications of the experiment during the 18th century, presenting a vivid image of the way experiments were accepted by western European societies. He also presented how the professional scientist appeared in the 19th century, and how the experiment evolved through a constant quest for accuracy.