The Automation of Science

Ross Donald King, Jeremy John Rowland, Stephen G. Oliver, Michael Young, Wayne Aubrey, Emma Louise Byrne, Maria Liakata, Magdalena Markham, Pinar Pir, Larisa Nikolaevna Soldatova, Andrew Charles Sparkes, Kenneth Edward Whelan, Amanda Janet Clare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

398 Citations (SciVal)


The basis of science is the hypothetico-deductive method and the recording of experiments in sufficient detail to enable reproducibility. We report the development of Robot Scientist 'Adam,' which advances the automation of both. Adam has autonomously generated functional genomics hypotheses about the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and experimentally tested these hypotheses by using laboratory automation. We have confirmed Adam's conclusions through manual experiments. To describe Adam's research, we have developed an ontology and logical language. The resulting formalization involves over 10,000 different research units in a nested treelike structure, 10 levels deep, that relates the 6.6 million biomass measurements to their logical description. This formalization describes how a machine contributed to scientific knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-89
Number of pages5
Issue number5923
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2009


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