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Thread: I had a thought, it became a theory, now what?

  1. #1 I had a thought, it became a theory, now what? 
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    I'm not a scientist, just a guy who was a math major in college and likes all that science-tific stuff. I had an idea a few years ago and it's finally resolved itself into something concrete. If I'm right about it all it will be HUUUGE. (just humor me, ok?) So what do I do now? I don't want to just post it somewhere on the web, I'd like a little credit for what I've done. I'm not into "fame", but a little bit of "fortune" would be ok if that's the way things work. I'm a little nervous about approaching anyone with it, I don't want to lose control of it, but at the same time being right isn't the same as being accepted, and I do need someone to look over what I've done and give it a thumbs up or down....but I want it to be someone I can trust. Seems like there should be a national clearing house for scientific ideas, why pass up something valuable just because it came from a "civilian"? (the old "infinite monkeys" theory applies here...) And I don't think I can patent a theory, or copyright it, or protect it in any way. I've documented everything, but... It may seem like I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself, but I think I'm just being prudent and cautious. I've done all the math and such, I'm just taking the next logical step... Anyone have any suggestions?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior Lucifer's Avatar
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    Houm...


    As you may understand, the odds are really against you. The chances that you just skipped something, or didn't accounted something important, are really big. So a previous step before sharing your idea, would be to try to put it to a test "the scientific way".

    I'm speculatign that so far you've tried to demonstrate that your ideas is right. Well, the next step is to try to demonstrate that it is wrong. This is the point that tells real science from more-or-less-creative speculation. Try to figure facts which could prove your idea false. Try to figure what kind fo xperiments coudl be done, and investigate if they've been doen already and what was the outcome. You really need to try to kill your theory by every mean, because this is exactly what everyone will do -actually scientists MUST do it. If your idea survives, then maybe you could check it with some specialist. Because science is made out of ideas that, a, there is a way to prove them wrong, and b, it hasn't been possible to demonstrate that they're wrong.

    Any idea can be proven right, but real Science also has been impossible to be proven wrong despite all the efforts and research. If it looks right, and there IS a way to prove it wrong, and it isn't proven wrong, then it may be a good theory.

    But as I've told you, the odds against you are real big...


    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” -Charles Darwin
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    NANONET, I would echo Lucifer's comments entirely. However, can you give us any further insight into the kind of idea you have had? You imply it has technological applications. If you were able to give us some more clues, without actually exposing the hypothesis itself, someone might be able to give more concrete advice. Obviously only reveal as much as you are comfortable with, but with what you have said so far it is difficult, perhaps imposssible, to give really useful advice.
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  5. #4  
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    I've taken it as far as I can, I've looked at the alternatives and the existing accepted theories and they look silly now. I guess I didn't make myself clear.... I'm just looking around to see if anyone has ever had an idea that turned into something real. What happens from here, who should I approach about it, what precautions should I take...etc... Whether or not I actually have something will be determined by someone qualified in the specific field. I'm just looking for some insight into how I should proceed from here. What my next step should be... Details on what I've got are irrelevant.
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  6. #5  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Well, I rather think the details are not irrelevant. There are several quite different ways that you might proceed, the actual route depending upon the character of your hypothesis. Without more information it becomes at worst impossible, at best too time consuming. I wish you well, but without some kind of further definition I cannot offer anything to you.
    Surely you could at least indicate the following:
    a) The field it is most closely associated with e.g. chemistry, biology, astrophysics.
    b) Does it have technological applications?
    c) If so, are these related to e.g. consumer products, civil engineering works, energy generation
    d) Does it deal with an area of science that is currently in turmoil or fairly settled?
    e) Does it impinge largely on a single discipline, or does it have implications for a large number of sciences?

    I fail to see how answering such questions could in any way prejudice your ownership of this 'discovery', yet answers to these and similar quesitons would greatly aid the quality of advice we could give you.
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  7. #6  
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    If your idea is an invention...get a patent. Then try to license the rights to this patent. There are companies and consultants that will help you do this. It is very hard otherwise.

    If you have an idea for a business....start a company. I did, back in the 80's, grew the business to 22 employees and $4M revenue, then sold my business to my biggest competitor (where I now work in a high level position).

    If you have a scientific theory, acquire the data, write a paper and send it to a reputable journal. If your idea is unexpected, new, useful and a very good idea, other scientists may name this theory after you by proclamation (this too has happened to me).

    hope this helps
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  8. #7  
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    Pray tell, silylene!
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