Progress in our ideas of progress

Way back in 2016, Ada Palmer wrote an essay on progress and historical change. It’s well worth reading in its entirety, but I especially wish more of my colleagues were familiar with the history of science and philosophy of Frances Bacon she describes in section two. Science has philosophy and history, and to be ignorant of them as a practicing scientist is very limiting.


Two hundred years is a long time for a vastly-complex society-wide project to keep getting support and enthusiasm, fed by nothing but pure confidence that these discoveries streaming out of the Royal Society papers will eventually someday actually do something.