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For the compulsory pre-trial disclosure of documents relevant to a case, see discovery (law)
A personification of discovery as represented by a statue in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot.

Discovery observations form acts of detecting and learning something. Discovery observations are acts in which something is found and given a productive insight. Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.



New discoveries are acquired through various senses and are usually assimilated tumbling with pre-existing knowledge and actions. Questioning is a major form of human thought and interpersonal communication, and plays a key role in discovery. Discoveries are mainly acquired through questions. With reference to science and academic disciplines, discovery is the observation of new phenomena, new actions, or new events and providing new reasoning to explain the knowledge gathered through such observations with previously acquired knowledge from abstract thought and everyday experience. In scientific research, exploration is one of three purposes of research (the other two being description and explanation). Discovery is made by providing observational evidence and attempts to develop an initial, rough understanding of some phenomenon. Some observational discoveries lead to invention of object, process, or techniques. A discovery may sometimes be based on earlier discoveries, collaborations or ideas, and the process of discovery requires at least the awareness that an existing concept or method can be modified or transformed. However, some discoveries also represent a radical breakthrough in knowledge.


Example discoveries

Within the course of scientific innovation, major scientific theories and discoveries were developed by various people. In many cases, the discovery spanned several years. The following are a few discoveries by observation:

Another discovery was that the Earth was not flat. In Western culture, Greek philosophers realized that the Earth was round by the fourth century BCE; non-western cultures noticed it even earlier.


Discovery can also be used to describe the first incursions of peoples from one culture into the geographical and cultural environment of others. Western culture has used the term "discovery" in their histories to subtly emphasize the importance of "exploration" in the history of the world, such as in the "Age of Exploration". Since the beginning expansion from Europe to the rest of the world, the "discovery" of every continent, island, and geographical feature, for the European traveller, lead to the notion that the native people were "discovered" (though many were there centuries or even millennia before). In that way, the term has Eurocentric and ethnocentric meaning often overlooked by westerners.

See also

External articles and references

Scholar articles
  • B Barber, Resistance by scientists to scientific discovery. Science, 1961
  • Merton, Robert K. (1957-12). "Priorities in Scientific Discovery: A Chapter in the Sociology of Science". American Sociological Review 22 (6): 635–659. ISSN 00031224.  
  • QIN Yulin, AS Herbert, Laboratory Replication of Scientific Discovery Processes. Cognitive Science, 1990.
  • A Silberschatz, A Tuzhilin, What makes patterns interesting in knowledge discovery systems. Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, 1996.
  • T Imielinski, H Mannila, A database perspective on knowledge discovery. Communications of the ACM, 1996 portal.


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