The course of human knowledge and sciences has been marked by opposition to new methods. The following examples illustrate scientists’ resistance to accept innovative approaches.
For centuries scientists believed that blood was created in the liver and moved around inside the body and disappeared in the extremities. In 1628, William Harvey, a British physician and anatomist, announced his discovery of the circulation of the blood. He described, in meticulous detail and backed by solid arguments, the circulation and properties of blood. Harvey’s shocking announcement was that the heart was a pump that pushed around the blood through veins and arteries. The British censor forbade the publication of his scientific treaties on blood circulation. He was ridiculed by other scientists for his preposterous theories. According to Harvey, he actually made his discovery 12 years before sharing it publicly!
It took him such a long time because he was afraid. In his own words:“…some chide and calumniated me and laid to me as a crime that I had dared to depart from the precepts and opinions of all anatomists…I not only fear injury to myself from the envy of a few, but I tremble lest I have mankind at large for my enemies…”
In 1816 a French physician called, René Laennec, invented the stethoscope. His invention became a major tool in diagnosis. However, many physicians opposed this idea arguing that there was nothing worth listening to.