“Scientist’s theories are not just formal axiomatic statements of scientific laws, but incorporate hidden assumptions about the nature of reality and of science….” – Thomas Hardy Leahey
Over the past few years, science has been increasingly subjected to public scrutiny, and many individuals have discovered that what they believed to be an impartial pursuit of truth is in fact a very human enterprise, subject to the foibles and opinions of its practitioners. However, as Thomas Leahey points out in A History of Psychology, the idea of science as purely objective is neither true nor practical. Contextualizing observations of the natural world within a prevailing perspective, or paradigm, is essential to the practice of science, as it allows scientific theories and hypotheses to endure in the face of inevitable human error.
In this issue of IMMpress Magazine, we examine some of the key paradigms in science, research, and medicine, looking back at the ideas on which the field of immunology was founded (pg 8) and looking forward to novel findings on immune cell function and development that may overturn our current understanding of innate and adaptive immunity (pgs 14 & 22).
Just as the framework of scientific thought must change over time, so too must the leadership of IMMpress. It is with much gratitude (and a heavy heart) that we bid farewell to our co-editor-in-chief and design director Catherine Schrankel, who has used her passion and creativity to transform the magazine into a celebration of art and culture, as well as science. We are also pleased to welcome our new co-editor-in-chief Angela Zhou, who is already an experienced editor and designer, and will no doubt bring a fresh new perspective to the magazine. Finally, we would like to thank all of the students in the department who made this issue possible, particularly Helen Luck for her wonderful designs. We are always looking for new writers, designers and ideas, so please – don’t hesitate to get in touch.