• Lawrence D. Longo
Part of the Perspectives in Physiology book series (PHYSIOL, volume 1)


As noted in the introduction, the Oxford chemist and Nobel Laureate Sir Cyril Hinshelwood defined science as “… an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery” (Hinshelwood 1954, p. 301). In the lines quoted above he cautioned that the quest is not without its challenges. Science constitutes an endless quest of nature for knowledge and wisdom. Unique among fields of mental enterprise, it requires curiosity, creativity, and dedicated work, and is characterized by communalism, universalism, disinterestedness, originality, and skepticism. Science possesses an informal quality-assurance system of peer-review, publication, and independent replication. As noted earlier, this essay might be viewed as a case study in the manner in which a special field of biomedical science has emerged and continues to evolve, and the way in which individuals, their ideas, and social forces critically interact in that development. As with much of contemporary biomedical science, fetal and neonatal physiology is based in general on the “Galilean-Harveian” hypothetico-deductive method, with the careful analysis of observed phenomena, generation of a testable hypothesis, designing and recording of experiments to test these hypotheses, and the further wholesale collection of observations and data to explore a more refined hypothesis. These are generated in sufficient detail to extend beyond mere empirical observation, and allow the innovation of quantitative reasoning to establish a proposed general principle and to enable reproducibility.


Surfactant Ischemia Explosive Toll Nigeria 


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Copyright information

© American Physiological Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence D. Longo
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Perinatal BiologyLoma Linda University School of MedicineLoma LindaUSA

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