Natural science is another field of knowledge that relies on logical reasoning and substantial evidence and is considered one of the most progressive fields of knowledge in the 21st century. The wide range of application of science means that scientific theories are continuously more and more integrated in the development of society, exposing older theories under a larger scope of analysis and judgment amongst scientists, mathematicians and other disciplines that relies on the principles of natural science.
The plum pudding model, first proposed by J. J. Thomson in 1904, was found to be inconsistent with the experiments of students Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden in 1909. Under the supervision of Professor Ernest Rutherford, the two conducted experiments with thin sheets of gold but produced results that were inconsistent with Thomson’s atomic model. It wasn’t until two years later that Professor Ernest Rutherford revisited the result of the experiment and developed the Rutherford model of the atom, confirming their earlier suspicion. His theory was approved and backed up by the proposal and experiment of Antonius Van den Broek and Henry Moseley, which agrees with the concept of direct proportionality that historical development is necessary to produce more accurate knowledge.
However, accidental discoveries are also not uncommon in the field of natural science. Alexander Flemming’s accidental discovery of the antibiotic penicillin in 1928 is considered one of the greatest “Eureka!” moment in the field of science. While working in St. Mary’s hospital in London, Flemming was sorting thorough Petri dishes containing Staphylococcus, a bacteria responsible for causing staph infection on the skin and forming boils, when he noticed that one of the Petri dishes was showing signs of mould growth. Interestingly, the area around the mould was clear, inhibiting bacterial growth and it was later identified as a rare strain of Penicillium notatum.
When Flemming published his discovery, he only credited it for its therapeutic benefits however the scientific world was very much taken with the discovery of the antibiotic. In 1941, two Oxford University students, Howard Florey and Ernest Chain, collected more information about the usefulness of the drugs and conducted experiments on mice before it was used to treat patients. The widespread use of the “miracle drug” began in World War II when the United States government permitted and recognised its merit in treating infected wounds and saving millions of lives. To improve the quality of the knowledge,
The role of serendipity can be recognised in producing knowledge in the field of mathematics and natural sciences, but serendipity itself is not enough to produce quality knowledge. Without carrying out logical processes, mathematicians and scientists would not be able to produce concrete evidence to support their hypothesis. Archimedes and Flemming had the intellect, knowledge and experience to support their discoveries but it is inevitably the duration of time that is spent in expanding the applicability of the knowledge that improves its quality