Professor Tom McLeish discusses the importance of creativity and imagination in science, and how we should be encouraging exploration in the younger generation.
Fascinating! I love seeing these glimpses of the ways that the often polarized representations of analytical and creative thought come together. As someone who tends toward easy categorizations and black-and-white thinking, I need to read more pieces like this. This quote stuck out to me in the beginning:
Far too often I get answers along the lines of, “I didn’t see any role for my own creativity or imagination.” At this point I know that something has gone terribly wrong with science education—giving the impression that it is a set of known questions with right answers.
I’m beginning to think science and religion have a lot more in common than we tend to assume.
Also this bit:
As formulated, the scientific method describes only the second phase of the process—testing ideas. There is no method, it is claimed, for having ideas. But this does not imply that there is an absence of any possible advice. We know that innovation rarely emerges from exposure to narrowly conventional thinking. This is why interdisciplinary conversation is so important. Furthermore, those “aha” moments—which more than one scientist has told me are what they live for—will never come unless we give them the space to do so.
And maybe doing science also has more in common with writing poetry than we tend to assume.