As for myself, I am a philosopher (in the more general sense) rather than a scientist. The greatest innovation in my field was wrought by Plato and Aristotle. Each in their own way established that knowledge could itself be an object of reflection. Plato did so discursively (with the dialogues of Socrates on knowledge and ignorance in general), and Aristotle did so analytically (creating the idea of disciplined, methodologically self-reflective inquiry). After that it’s been filling in the pieces. There were, of course, great innovations in other fields; but philosophy is mine and so that’s my innovation.
BOOKS: Author of: Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems (buy this book from Amazon(UK)), Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy (buy this book from Amazon(UK)), A No-Nonsense Guide to Science (buy this book from Amazon(UK)).
Jerome R Ravetz is Associate Fellow at the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization, University of Oxford, England.