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Science as a Story

hannahgisele's picture

Before our class on Thursday, I’d always considered science to be a more definitive, straightforward subject than literature. But in light of what Professor Grobstein spoke about, I’m beginning to view literature as the more concrete of the two. As he explained in class, scientific discoveries are really just reflections that are culminated based on an organization of facts and observations. I’ve worked in multiple oncology labs at different medical schools in California, and had always felt that the research I was working on was in an attempt to seek out particular pieces of information (for example, finding markers that would show certain expressions in particular genes). Reflecting back now, I can see that each test and trial was instead, an effort to gain more insight on the topic in general. Without a structured, in depth understanding of a given area, one cannot target the specifics. In this way, it was necessary for me compile a collection of ‘scientific stories’ so that later, we were able to create an all-encompassing account of what we were truly observing.


On the other hand, literary tales are created from the mind of their author. In directly targeting certain scenarios and situations and allowing characters to interact and grow, authors have the ability to channel their own creativity into definitive stories that hold certain levels of ‘truth.’ While science cannot ever reach a level of truth because it is constantly evolving, changing, and being disproven, literature has the capacity to be finite. Consequently, I feel that literature is essentially a more targeted, specific way of telling a story. Rather than exploring a world which functions independently/regardless of humans (science), authors have the opportunity to create their own worlds in which to foster their ideas and ideals.




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