[ 21/2/20 ]
The two most significant general categories that hold back scientific progress seem to me to be:
1/ The lack of a willingness at the level of individuals to challenge assumptions or social agreements or social mores, lore or existing “Truth”.
2/ Is sets of institutional and cultural incentives that are more about perpetuating the institutions than they are about refining and improving our understandings of reality.
Most teaching institutions seem to be more about the interests of teachers and the institutional bureaucracy than they are about teaching students to question everything.
The modern cultural trend to conform to social norms is particularly challenging.
Cases like that of an institution spending $600K to evaluate a research proposal to spend $200K give a hint at the scale of the problems present (because that was the accepted procedure to be followed).
Most people are bound by rules, rather than acting responsibly.
And it is an extremely deep set of issues.
Anyone who comes up with anything really novel is very likely to find it rejected by most, as at some level it will challenge accepted assumptions held by those individuals (and probably not recognised as such).
Anyone with significant investments in anything challenged by the invention will have an interest in slowing its adoption. It gets very messy, very quickly.