Science is Boring, Creativity is Stupid!…uh-whaaauh? (part I of II)
The brain is a Wi-Fi system for ideas.
Let’s briefly discuss an issue most pressing and urgent and that is the so-called open science movement which is vile and will inevitably lead to a more educated nation, country and world. I know it is a horrible thing!
What is this open science movement you ask. Allow me to explain… it is a movement happening within the science community what is aiming its arrows on making data resources and information freely available to anyone who can read. But not only that, it is a movement wherein researchers are encouraged to make their data publicly available to young people and other researchers. What?! Why would anyone want to do that?
It also means full transparency as you are reporting your results which means that if you began with one hypothesis and suddenly found that it was not supported but instead found another hypothesis that was supported, you are supposed to tell people that your first hypothesis failed. Can you believe it? What has the world come to?
Okay, okay, enough silly sarcasm. But let’s be honest, too many scientists, mentors, are still doing their work in ‘tunnels’ so to speak. But by becoming more transparent — open it up for everybody to read — young people can see what you as a scientist are doing and which awe-inspiring theories and thoughts you have what they can apply to their upcoming thesis’s.
Using an open access journal also means that young people can both learn from you and respond to the scientific research published what in turn is keeping their fiery curiosity alive and can even accelerate a scientific evolution.
Was that not the main reason why you became a professor, or mentor, in the first place…to teach?
Knowing stuff is power!
Our species have always tried to describe the world, for lots of reasons: in part because it’s fascinating and in part to control it.
Over time we learned about stuff, made new technologies, and are currently scrambling to learn more new stuff to solve the problems that our old technologies created. Yup, our curiosity and the need for explaining natural phenomena has lead us to a world that looks radically dissimilar to that of 300 years ago. To quote Andy Weir, we’ve ‘scienced” the heck out of it’. And so, the world you inhabit today is full of super cool gadgets that once belonged to science fiction.
Nowadays we can model what the earth looked like millions of years ago, or zoom in and observe the atoms that make up our own bodies. But, as much as some may not like to admit it, we are still pretty ignorant and, we seem not to agree on what it would mean to reach the ultimate Truth, capital T.
Take a big question that we have been asking for a long time like “what is stuff”: While modern physicists will tell you that stuff is made of atoms, and atoms are made of quarks and leptons, we still don’t know why quarks exist. Or, why there appears to be far more matter in the universe than we can account for. Even something as basic as “stuff” needs a lot more sciencing!
Also, and this is really important, “science” isn’t a stable or single idea. So, facing an utterly unprecedented total ecological catastrophe, we may need to “science” it even more, in a creative — artistic — way.
IQ is the result of eye-Q
Creativity through observation is our ability to look, artistically, at any problem and come up with a good solution to solve it. And your ideas, solutions, are definitely worth spreading. But many people think they could never have an idea worth spreading. “I’m not creative, artsy or a genius.” Well the good news is, anyone can have super ideas and the interesting thing is that many great ideas come when people do surprisingly simple and non-relating things.
Let’s look at 3 simple ways to have super cool ideas:
1: Have a problem
Richard Branson had a problem. He was stranded in the airport after his flight to Puerto Rico was canceled. And to solve the problem he got on the phone, called around, chartered a plane, sold tickets to the other stranded passengers and actually ended up making a profit. The light went on “I could start an airline!” and the idea for Virgin Atlantic was born.
2: Listen and observe
Richard Feynman was a physicist. While he was eating lunch in the Cornell University Cafeteria, a student stood up and threw a plate across the room. He noticed, while the plate spun through the air, the Cornell medallion on the plate seemed to be spinning faster than the plate. Well he got an idea, worked out the motion of the mass particles and won the Nobel Prize!
3: Write down your ideas/thoughts
The important thing is write down your ideas because if you don’t they will fly away, never to return. Larry Page said, ”At the age of 23 I woke up thinking: what if we could download the whole web and just keep the links? I grabbed a pen and started scribbling out the details and Google was born.”
Amazing is it not? This is why you should consider of stepping out of this ‘smothery tunnel’ and apply creative and critical thinking to your technical written thesis, or essay and share your work with not only mind-liked people but also with those who are working in those fields that have similarities with your field of expertise what, in turn, might bring it all to the next level. And when a really great idea shows up, grab it and forget about any superficial criticism or comments that may be heading your way, just be yourself.
Why, because, like yourself, science is not limiting itself to grids, formulas and PowerPoint presentations. It is a wide field one can conduct his or her research in. So, do some really simple and non-related things and you too can have amazing ideas which are worth sharing.