Believe it or not, it was once illegal to teach the theory of evolution to children in school. A teacher in Tennessee named John Scopes had violated this law in the 1900s, which resulted in the John Scopes trial. This trial marked the shift of the beliefs of Americans from religion to science. Scientific research has been going on for decades and it has, for the most part, helped improve our lives, but it is a very tough field. In The Great Influenza, author John M. Barry used juxtaposition, listing, and structure to characterize scientific research as a challenging and uncertain field that requires a lot of courage to accept defeat, but also have the determination to move on.
Scientific research is not concrete information that we can rely on, but it is rather something that will continuously change with time and with new findings. Barry uses juxtaposition in his first paragraph when he states that “Certainty creates strength…uncertainty creates weakness.” Science is not something we can be sure of because the possibilities of something new coming up are endless. He also explains that uncertainty can be a good thing because uncertainty can slowly lead us in the right direction, if not at our destination. Barry also listed the characteristics of a scientist to explain all the traits that scientists require. One does not only require “intelligence” and “curiosity”, but they also need “patience, creativity, and courage” to be a scientist. The work of scientist is very tough, because their research and beliefs can all fall apart with a little new discovery. Many people believe that one needs to be scientifically intelligent and curious enough to explore the unknown, but what one requires more than anything is to be able to accept uncertainty but continue making practical theories and predictions. Claude Bernard put it best when she stated, “Science teaches us to doubt.” The...