We talk about artistic inspiration all the time – but scientific inspiration is a thing too

It’s commonly understood that artists need inspiration-- but
scientists? Yes, scientists often find themselves needing to draw from
the same well:

We talk about artistic inspiration all the time – but science demands
inspiration too.


One of my favorite examples of inspiration in the sciences is Salvador Luria’s story of what inspired him. He was at a faculty mixer, and as part of the entertainment they had some slot machines. It suddenly dawned on him that mutations could be a lot like slot machines, where there are rare winners who hit the jackpot. He also realized that a statistical model for slot machine winners could also be applied to mutations in bacterial populations. Luria partnered up with Delbruck, and what resulted was part of the work that earned Luria a Nobel Prize.


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Reading about this story was the many many reasons I became fascinated with science as a child.

The chemist Kekulé was the first to deduce the ring structure of benzene; after years of studying carbon bonding, benzene and related molecules, the solution to the benzene structure came to him in a dream of a snake eating its own tail. Upon waking was inspired to deduce the ring structure of benzene.

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I question this inspiration concept. In reality scientific progress moves in clear curves of a rising intelligence. Same in art. If this wasn’t so then inspiration would be a random thing and a roll of the dice amongst mankind.
yet it is not. Science , even to this day, has been very skewed toward , what is called, western civilization.
It has been skewed towards men, despite the picture of this math chick.
Now if we say humanity JUST hasn’t had opportunity WELL then that itself means inspiration is a curve on opportunity and so not really inspiration.
I see all of this as just humans getting ideas baded on a foundation opf existing ideas.
Its all curves. I don’t think any human ever had a insight that didn’t come from observation of Gods existing creation.