May 9, 2006Kevin Kelly
Landmarks in the history of the scientific method are the invention of libraries, indexes, citations, controlled experiments, peer review, placebos, double blind experiments, randomization, and search among others. At the core of the scientific method is the structuring of information.
In the next 50 years, as the technologies of information and knowledge accelerate, the nature of the scientific process will change even more than it has in the last 400 years. We can’t predict what specific inventions will arise in the next 50 years, but based on long-term trends in epistemic tools, I believe we can speculate on how the scientific method itself — that is, how we know — will change in the next five decades.