Home
Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Advertising
Summer school
Top issues
Abortion
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
Economy
Environment
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Nudge
Obesity
Parents and kids
Population
USA
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Letters
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
survey

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
First thoughts
Final thoughts
Survey responses
RSS feed
Michael Baum
Gustav Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus du Sautoy
Harold Kroto
Paul Lauterbur
Leon Lederman
Bernard Lovell
Sophie Petit-Zeman
Ingo Potrykus
Jack Pridham
Simon Singh
Jack Steinberger
Michel Cabanac
professor of physiology at Laval University in Québec


Research is a process leading the scientist from state A to state B. In the A state, the scientist makes an initial observation, or obtains results that are contradictory to the official thesis. He is then in a state of discomfort, because he himself believes in this ruling official theory. Yet, he must accept that his own results render the theory unlikely.

This is a privileged situation, because it brings in a new way of looking at the accepted theory. Now, I have found a crack in the wall. The scientist is now in the B state – he tries to find a replacing theory, in which the new facts and the old knowledge must be blended. When a scientist reaches a solution, they experience intense joy.

I lived the above process when I worked under Joseph Chatonnet, on my doctoral thesis. The experience was so stirring that I remained in research. I described the process, and its ensuing steps, in my book La Quête du Plaisir: Étude sur le Conflit des Motivations.

Michel Cabanac is author of Human Selective Brain Cooling (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).