The Scientific Method/Timeline

This Timeline of the history of scientific method shows an overview of the cultural inventions that have contributed to the development of the scientific method. For a more detailed account see History of Scientific Thought.

  • 2000 BC — First text indexes (various cultures).
  • 320 BC — Aristotle, comprehensive documents categorising and subdividing knowledge, dividing knowledge into different areas (physics, poetry, zoology, logic, rhetoric, politics, and biology).
  • 200 BC — First cataloged library (at Alexandria).
  • 800 AD — Arguably the scientific method in many of its modern forms is developed in some aspects of early Islamic philosophy, theology and law. In particular the methods of citation, peer review and open inquiry leading to development of consensus.
  • 1015 - Alhazen used experimental methods to obtain the results in his book Optics In particular, he combined observations and rational arguments to show that his intromission theory of vision was scientifically correct, and that the emission theory of vision supported by Ptolemy and Euclid was wrong.
  • 1327 — Ockham's razor clearly formulated (by William of Ockham)
  • 1403 — Yongle Encyclopedia, the first collaborative encyclopedia.
  • 1590 — First controlled experiment, (Francis Bacon).
  • 1600 — First dedicated laboratory.
  • 1620 — Novum Organum published (Francis Bacon).
  • 1637 — First Scientific method (René Descartes).
  • 1650 — Society of experts (the Royal Society).
  • 1650 — Experimental evidence established as the arbiter of truth (the Royal Society).
  • 1665 — Repeatability established (Robert Boyle).
  • 1665 — Scholarly journals established.
  • 1675 — Peer review begun.
  • 1687 — Hypothesis/prediction (Isaac Newton).
  • 1710 — The problem of induction identified by David Hume .
  • 1753 — Description of a controlled experiment using two identical populations with only one variable. (James Lind's A Treatise of the Scurvy).
  • 1926 — Randomized design (Ronald Fisher).
  • 1934 — Falsifiability as a criterion for evaluating new hypotheses (Karl Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery).
  • 1937 — Controlled placebo trial.
  • 1946 — First computer simulation.
  • 1950 — Double blind experiment.
  • 1962 — Meta study of scientific method (Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions).
Last modified on 8 October 2010, at 04:54