The Scientific Community Metaphor

Unknown author (1981-01-01)

Scientific communnities have proven to be extremely successful at solving problems. They are inherently parallel systems and their macroscopic nature makes them amenable to careful study. In this paper the character of scientific research is examined drawing on sources in the philosophy and history of science. We maintain that the success of scientific research depends critically on its concurrency and pluralism. A variant of the language Ether is developed that embodies notions of concurrency necessary to emulate some of the problem solving behavior of scientific communities. Capabilities of scientific communities are discussed in parallel with simplified models of these capabilities in this language.