Sunday, June 22, 2008
Adaptive Scientific Mindset
Scientists are commonly viewed as highly skeptical individuals who believe only rigorously supported ideas. Although this is to a certain extent quite true, I want to advance in this post that there is an under-appreciated trickiness involved in having a healthy level of scientific skepticism, while at the same time being open-minded enough to be able to seriously consider paradigm shifting ideas. Thus, on the one hand, a researcher needs to be skeptical enough to believe only sound and robust pieces of information. On the other hand, researchers need to be open-minded enough to contemplate ideas that although seem implausible now, may open the door to ground-breaking new ways of thinking about reality.