The term scientific revolution has arisen from Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in which he used the terms paradigm change and paradigm shift twenty-three and six times, respectively, to denote revolutions in scientific worldview and practice. For Kuhn made a clear distinction between normal science, which works within the context of a particular paradigm, and scientific revolutions, when a radical change is made to the conceptual structures that guide scientific research.
As he observed, on the one hand, “normal science means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time for its further practice.” In contrast, “at times of revolution, when the normal scientific tradition changes, the scientist’s perception of his environment must be re-educated—in some familiar situations he must learn to see a new gestalt.”
Using this model of scientific revolutions from the past, at a new paradigm conference in 1986, Willis Harman, then President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), said, “Most educated people in this country [the USA] would think it pretty preposterous to suggest that the change that is taking place is at as deep a level as the change that took place during the Scientific Revolution, because that would imply, of course, that the near future—the early part of the next century—would be as different from present times as present times are from the Middle Ages.”
In 2010, Marilyn Schlitz, then IONS Vice-president of Research and Education, now IONS Senior Fellow and President Emeritus, pointed out in a One-Minute-Shift video, “we are now going through the next scientific revolution, one every bit as profound as those created by Copernicus, Darwin, and Einstein.”
Continuing this revolutionary path, on 20th July 2013, Stephen Dinan, CEO of the Shift Network, formerly IONS Director of Membership and Marketing, arranged a teleseminar titled ‘The Next Scientific (R)evolution: The Emergence of the Akashic Paradigm with Consciousness at the Core’ with Ervin Laszlo, Ken Wilber, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Riane Eisler, and Duane Elgin participating.
So the idea that an epoch-making revolution in science is currently taking place is clearly in the air. However, what no revolutionary scientist or evolutionary can yet explain is what is causing scientists and technologists to drive scientific discovery and technological development at unprecedented exponential rates of accelerating change, a critical issue that is the primary focus of Project Aditi.