Volume 5 Issue 1 (2009)

Science as Reflective Practice: A Review of Frederick Grinnell's Book, <i>Everyday Practice of Science</i>

D. P. Dash
School of Business and Design, Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak Campus), Malaysia and Xavier Institute of Management, India
Published August 24, 2009
  • practice of science,
  • linear model of science,
  • circle of discovery,
  • circle of credibility,
  • unexpected result,
  • reportable story,
  • thought style,
  • scientific misconduct,
  • science and society,
  • role of experts,
  • critical systems thinking,
  • research education
  • ...More


Frederick Grinnell, a professor of cell biology, has written about the practice of science. I was introduced to his writings first through his article, “The Practice of Science at the Edge of Knowledge,” published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (Grinnell, 2000). Later, I found his homepage, which contains two sections: (a) “doing science” and (b) “reflecting on what doing science means.” It is the spirit of the second section that persuaded me to read more from Grinnell. In Everyday Practice of Science, Grinnell presents us with an account of what doing science means to him, written from the standpoint of a practising scientist. In this review, I try to identify the author’s notion of everyday practice of science and link it with what I consider to be the broader notion of research practice.