Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

Carl G. Hampel, Germany (1905 – 1997)

Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test

Literal Comprehension: A Hungarian physician and a German writer Carl G. Hempel Semmelweis is the writer of this essay. When his friend had a problem that more women in the First Maternity Division of the Vienna General Hospital died from childbed fever that in the Second Maternity Division of the hospital. Though he took many new ideas and tested them to solve the problem there was no control in death. First, it was supposed that childbed fever was caused by epidemic influences. When an epidemic, cholera widespread, it was not limited to the First Division without affecting the Second division, the city of Vienna and the mothers who were admitted to the First Division after delivering the babies on the way. The second idea was that overcrowding in the First Division was the cause of a higher death rate. Patients avoided the First Division and the Second Division was more crowded because of the high death rate in the First Division.

As diet and the care of the patients in both divisions were the same, another idea was that in the First Division. It was a rough examination of patients by medical students was injurious enough to cause childbed fever. But Semmelweis showed that natural birth process was more injurious, that in the Second Division midwives examined the patients equally roughly, and that after reducing the number of medical students and their examination the death rate was not still reduced. After an accident, Semmelweis concluded that foul material from the dead body was responsible for childbed fever, and after washing hands with the chemicals before examining the patients decreased the death rate. Later Semmelweis also concluded that the dirty matter from the living beings caused childbed fever in the hospital. Therefore, proper hand washing was necessary there in the hospital.

Interpretation: As this essay is a scientific inquiry, it is based on finding a solution or the cause of death in a maternity hospital. It describes many experiments and examinations to find out the cause but at last, it is found that the dirty hands of the doctors and nurses were the main mediums for transmitting the diseases. As a scientific essay, it tells is a success story to find a problem and its results or conclusion as proved. This essay shows that the process of scientific discovery involves formulating, hypotheses, testing predictions, and an interdisciplinary search. It may also be interpreted that sometimes accidentally a chance plays an important role in scientific invention. If Kolletschka’s hand had not been injured by the medical student’s knife, Semmelweis would not have found the solution to the problem. As the nature of science, this essay also conveys a message of the steps or process of scientific discovery; just hypothesis, imagination, blame or blind faith cannot give a solution to any problem as a scientific inquiry gives.

Critical Thinking: There are many problems and their solutions in the world. Only scientific inquiries have given a practical and reliable or useful solution. But in scientific inquiry, there should be followed some steps or procedures. This essay also has given a way of thinking to find out a solution to a problem. As Semmelweis examined various ideas and at last found out the main cause of the problem, we also should try our best as many times as we can to find out the solution to any problem. Through this, we can raise some questions about this essay that is it possible to experiment human’s body everywhere every time or not?

Assimilation: This essay has focused on the procedure of finding out the solution or the main cause of the death in a hospital; with continuous effort and examination of the doctors, it is found out that the dirty hands were the main causes. This gives all of us an important message of cleanliness and good hand washing before doing any work; otherwise, we ourselves will be the cause of different diseased. This also has shown me a way how to think and find out the solution to a problem. To solve a problem trial and error method is necessary; I also got inspired to find out the solution with experiment but not with the superficial study of my problems. It gave me a message of continuous practice and effort and scientific research of any problem are needed than blame, superstitious faith, etc.

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