The state of the scientific revolution in toxicology

Thomas Hartung, Aristides M. Tsatsakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Science changes in waves, the so-called paradigm shifts or scientific revolutions. This concept was prominently elabo­rated by Thomas S. Kuhn more than 50 years ago in what remains one of the most cited science philosophy books of all time. Kuhn described how “normal science” experiences anomalies, which bring it to crisis and revolution from which a new, immature scientific paradigm results, which over time becomes the new normal. Building on an analysis on how this applies to toxicology and its change in approach in 2008, we concluded at the time that toxicology had encountered a number of such anomalies and was moving into crisis. Here, the progress along Kuhn’s trajectory over the last 12 years of a scientific revolution is discussed. We conclude that this decade has shown up even more anomalies, and the perception of crisis has spread and consolidated. Indications of revolutionary paradigm changes are emerging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • alternative methods
  • new approach methods
  • paradigm shift
  • regulatory toxicology
  • science philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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