Coping with the Printing Press
Here's a thought.
I'd always assumed that invention of the printing press increased the ability of people to pamphleteer, to disseminate new ideas, and to bypass, and sometimes to topple, existing power structures.
And I'd always assumed that the Scientific Revolution was helped enormously by this new invention. People were suddenly able to share the results of their sometimes homebrewn experiments and a wave of new discovery was unleashed.
I'd always assumed that the scientific method was another one of these positive discoveries. But perhaps things aren't quite so rosy-tinted. Presumably scientific method, peer review, empirical testing et al. could have become prized because they were the best way people found to cope with the boom in quack theories and amateur views.