Science was in the state of gathering momentum = is taking off

Science was in the state of embryo = is taking off


With what word can I describe better the state of very beginning of improving?

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    Did you want to use metaphor or are you looking for a word that suggests this, for example "nascent". – Andrew Jul 10 '17 at 18:54
  • @Andrew Thanks, but it doesn't really fit this sentence (Science was ... nascent ) – Max Jul 10 '17 at 19:04
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    Max, actually it does ... but that wasn't really my question. The question was whether you are looking for a particular word, or if you'd rather use a metaphor like "embryonic". – Andrew Jul 10 '17 at 19:12
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    Nascent is a perfect choice. "In the late 19th century, the nascent science of anthropology was blah blah.." However, do you require a verb that can be used felicitously as a present participle (cf. "is taking off"), or an adjective? You already have "...in its embryonic stage...", which is a common metaphor. We also use poised in such constructions: "Anthropology was poised to grow into a full-fledged science..." – P. E. Dant Jul 10 '17 at 19:15
  • @Andrew Sorry. Yes, you are right in your assumptions – Max Jul 10 '17 at 19:44

"Nascent" is often used to describe something that has just been "born" and is expected to grow.

In the 1990s Internet search was a nascent technology that few would have predicted would grow into the dominant entity that is Google.

Depending on what you want to say, you could similarly describe a particular field of scientific study as nascent. Another possibility is embryonic, although this implies the subject has "yet to be born" and is still "gestating".

Despite the hype, some consider self-driving cars to be an embryonic technology which has yet to prove its economic viability.

If you want to use idiom, any variation on either "moving fast" or "exploding" will work:

The technology is about to take off

The technology is about to blow up / go nuclear.

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