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By William Henry Bragg, Sir

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Additional resources for Concerning the Nature of Things [6 Lectures - Royal Society of London]

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Metaimmunological musings SPECULATIVE THINKING Two opinions Science is a process that discovers new data and tests hypotheses about the organisation and operating principles of the world. But science is also a creative and constructive process in which the world becomes categorised and conceptualised by the scientist. The English expression “science” (Lat. scientia – having knowledge) captures only the first of these ideas, while the German word “wissenschaft” (wissen – knowledge, schaft – creation), and the related Norwegian word “vitenskap” (viten – knowledge, skap – creation), capture both connotations.

The inspector did apparently not agree as he muttered “Some folk might say that there was madness in his method” (Conan Doyle 1976). Holmes emphasised the need for pursuing several possible lines of explanation that take account of the facts, and in The Hound of the Baskervilles Dr. ” When being accused of guess work, Holmes replied that what may appear as guessing is “rather, into the region where we balance probabilities and choose the most likely. ” Method in madness is thus instantiated when abductive inferences are restricted to the best explanations, in which the “best explanation” is taken to be best among the competing alternatives that fit the facts.

Adjuvancy The pushing back of the self-nonself discriminating capability, from the B cell to the T cell to the antigen-presenting cell, that took place from the end of the 1950s to the 1970s, begged the question of how the antigen-presenting cell could make the crucial distinction between self and non-self. A solution to the question occurred when Charles Janeway (1989) speculated upon the role of adjuvants in immunisation. The term adjuvant, which is derived from the Latin verb adjuvare, to help or aid, was introduced in the 1940s when it was discovered that strong immune responses against purified antigens could be obtained if antigen was mixed with killed bacterial debris.

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