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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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March 4, 2011

Science: Good For Anything Else?

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Posted by Derek

One of the side topics that's come up around here recently is the value of a scientific background in other jobs (and for life in general). I've thought about that for some time. Growing up, I was always interesting in science, and I was always experimenting with things. I went through cycles of messing around in my spare time with the microscope, the telescope, chemistry experiments, electricity and radio, and back around again. I wasn't all that comprehensive and rigorous about any of it, but I think I did get the basic ideas of a scientist's world view.

Those, to me, are: (1) the natural world is independent of human thought. Your beliefs may be of interest to you, but the physical world is indifferent to them. (2) The natural world has rules. They may not be very clear, and they may be wildly complex, but there are rules, and they can be potentially figured out. (3) The way to figure them out, if you're so inclined, is to ask questions of the world in an organized fashion. These can be observations (in which case, the question is "I wonder what's there and what it looks like?"), or experiments ("I wonder what happens if I do this?"). And (4), since the world is so complex, you'd better make your questions as well-thought-out as possible. Try to identify all the variables you can, only mess with one of them at a time if at all possible, and value reproducibility very highly.

It's surprising, when you look at the record, to find out how little this view of the world has held sway over human history. There were various well-known outbreaks of such thinking in the past, but it's really only been a continuous effort in the last few centuries, and not everywhere in the world, by any means. (If you're interested in seeing just what a profound change has resulted in human affairs, I can recommend A Farewell to Alms. The results, for better or worse, we see around us, not least of which is the keyboard I'm using to type these thoughts, and the network that I'm going to send them out over in a few minutes.

So in one respect, a scientific outlook must be worth something, since it's the backdrop for the entire modern world. But it's possible, more than possible, to live in it without being aware of things in that way. I think that for any kind of work that requires brainpower and adaptability, a scientific background should come in handy. But how handy? That's my question for today. I know what I'd like the answer to be - but see that first principle above. The world doesn't have to give you the answers you like, or even care if you like one at all.

For some possible background, see the recent Edge.org question "What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?". I was invited to contribute to this one as well, but wasn't able to put my thoughts in a coherent enough form.

Update: fixed the numbering of the points. Yessireebob, I'm a scientist, all right.

Comments (52) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Who Discovers and Why


COMMENTS

1. Anonymous on March 4, 2011 9:25 AM writes...

What's idea number 3?

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2. Energy Barrier on March 4, 2011 9:33 AM writes...

'I think that for any kind of work that requires brainpower and adaptability, a scientific background should come in handy. But how handy? That's my question for today.'

a science backgroung will enable you to think about all possible variables affecting the factor you are trying to determine. It will enable a logical approach to solving problems and analyse different information.

However, these skills without social skills - that you only learn outside the lab - are worthless. I do not mean that scientists do no have social skills, but when you deal with molecules.. you at least can predict their behaviour. When you deal with humans, then that is a whole different story.. and because humans are far more complicated than molecules, perhaps our scientific skills do not come in that handy, after all.

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3. Anon on March 4, 2011 9:34 AM writes...

I'll be graduating shortly with a PhD in organic chemistry and I can tell you that there are a few select fields that highly value the 'problem solving ability' that a PhD can bring to the table.

Management consulting is the prime example as it is often, at least in theory, data driven decision making. Similarly to scientific endeavors, you generate hypotheses as to what might be the problem (or solution), generate a way to test that hypothesis, and formulate a recommendation based on the data. I'm not so sure how it turns out in practice, but I'll soon find out!

Wall Street has been another outlet for those with a scientific background - especially those with quantitative PhDs. In addition to the intellectual horsepower and familiarity with complex mathematics, it seems that the ability to remove emotion from the equation is highly valued - echoing your rules 1 & 2. In addition, Wall Street, and especially quantitative firms, often times survive and thrive by staying ahead of the pack and therefore the ability to create and test new methods is quite invaluable.

But I agree entirely with your main point (or question); a scientific background is surprisingly unhelpful. Being overly superstitious and ineffective at problem solving does not appear to hinder many people from being successful.

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4. Anonymous on March 4, 2011 9:36 AM writes...

One, two, four, five, I'm counting these rocks, biyatch!

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5. Anon on March 4, 2011 9:41 AM writes...

Just wanted to strongly agree with Energy Barrier. The most successful people, in my opinion, are those that have a science mindset but leverage that with with the ability to deal with people. Too often those with a science background overlook or downplay the value of effectively interacting with people - at great expense to their careers and personal success!

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6. Peter Ellis on March 4, 2011 10:01 AM writes...

What's idea number 3?

Rule 3: You do not talk about Science Club.

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7. gyges on March 4, 2011 10:12 AM writes...

I particularly like your first point, although I express it differently. Ie, there are two realities, one objective the other subjective. The former is entirely independent of man (eg gravity) while the latter is collective myth supported by violence (eg laws, countries, scientism).

As to your question, what use science? It demands and hence sculpts a logical manner of thinking which bleeds over to other subjects of thought. It demands that everything must be questioned and that propositions/hypotheses are worked out for oneself. This adds greater rigour to our own thinking but also to those around us when we starting asking, "Yeah, but why? How do you get that? Why is better that way?" etc

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8. Hasufin on March 4, 2011 10:20 AM writes...

I've always considered the most important concept in science to be this: I might be wrong.

This ties in to your #1 - the natural world is indifferent to your beliefs.

Unfortunately, as individuals, this is also one of the hardest parts fo science to handle, because our beliefs are so tied up with our ego, and it's sometimes hard to imagine, much less accept, being wrong.
However, science sometimes happens over generations; while an individual may not be able to accept that, for example, Clovis First is wrong, as the people who can't accept it retire or die off, it gets questioned and eventually is overturned.

Another way to put it is, science as an activity can only happen at a speed which is acceptable to emotion.

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9. Somite on March 4, 2011 10:34 AM writes...

The effects of a lack of a scientific background can be seen in what is perceived as management and leadership in today's corporate environment. As a scientist it is frustrating to see verifiably unscientific ideas like six sigma and Myers-Briggs personality testing creep in an affect actual work.

My theory is that unscientific processes are used by management to pretend they can manage what they don't understand. With a scientific background at least they would understand how silly they look to the scientifically trained.

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10. Vader on March 4, 2011 10:34 AM writes...

Golly, your childhood sounds quite a bit like mine ... microscope, telescope, chemistry set, electronics, yup, yup, yup, yup.

I have been repeatedly contacted by headhunters for Wall Street analysis firms. So far, I have not given in to the dark side.

I am a touch autistic, and I absolutely agree that scientific enthusiasm, even coupled with high intelligence, gets you only so far. The lack of people skills can be a career crippler even in the sciences. Nowadays everything seems to be political. Pity.

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11. Hap on March 4, 2011 10:39 AM writes...

Concur strongly with number 7. I think most of the most damaging moments in history have been by people who didn't they could be wrong, and found out otherwise only with a great deal of blood.

The other principle that science might help with is that "Evidence talks and talk, well, walks." The converse opinion seems to be characterized often by "Well, it could be true.", and while optimism has benefits and utility, Dr. Lowe's Rule 1 still holds - we have to deal with what is and not what we want. This is tempered by another useful principle, "There is lots we don't know.", but you still have to rely on what is and not what may be or what you want.

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12. Hap on March 4, 2011 10:44 AM writes...

1) "didn't think they could be wrong." Ack.

2) I think we've always been political, because much of the human experience is in relationship - science has given us power and perspective, but the questions everybody gets to answer ("Why are we here? What do I do?") hinge upon our relations to others. In addition, for lots of people, the idea that our actions are limited by physical nature is one that they desperately wish to ignore, and do not wish to be reminded of.

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13. Anonymous on March 4, 2011 11:29 AM writes...

This doesn't get you off the hook - we still want to see the compleat Lowe's Rules of the Lab (unless I missed the post).

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14. CMCguy on March 4, 2011 11:31 AM writes...

I can already hear the Howls now but I have known several Ministers/Theologians that had undergrad science degrees and they felt it helped them greatly in those professions/callings. If you think about the questions above some are not dissimilar to how religious discourse goes.

Although at some levels I agree about the potential for "brainpower and adaptability" to have wide application to diverse areas the modern science education, especially PhDs, tends IMO to be overly specialized or just rote memorization and thus to not be as mind-stretching and even inhibit adaptability so not as handy outside narrow endeavors. In the end in most cases its more about the individual than the background that makes translation possible.

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15. Mark on March 4, 2011 11:40 AM writes...

I have to confirm the applicability of the scientific process to management consulting. After leaving the lab for an MBA, I found consulting to be a natural fit for the skills I learned as a scientist. The ability to quickly structure a problem, recognize what is and isn't relevant and to quickly process data and know whether or not your results back up your conclusions is very valuable in consulting.

Mark

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16. johnnyboy on March 4, 2011 12:01 PM writes...

I think another rule could be added to your set: Whatever you do, do not get emotionally invested in the answers to the hypothesis you are testing (or in the resulting theory). Or as my professor said when I left his lab: "Always be careful to not start believing in your own bullshit".

As to your question of the day, as the other commenters say, a scientific mindset is certainly useful to an extent in other occupations, provided these require dealing with facts. However a scientific mindset is probably a detriment in all other human interactions, in which "emotional intelligence" (i.e. tolerance for the irrational crap of others) is much, much more important.

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17. Somite on March 4, 2011 12:39 PM writes...

The best definition of emotional intelligence!

"emotional intelligence" (i.e. tolerance for the irrational crap of others)

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18. Jim on March 4, 2011 12:52 PM writes...

I think that we all have to be careful not to believe our own BS when we talk about a "scientific mindset". In my experience, the quality that is most pervasive in successful scientists is critical thinking. Clearly, critical thinking and the scientific method are neatly intertwined, but the scientific method depends on critical thinking more so than the other way around.

It might be that formal science education and training are perhaps the best ways to teach critical thinking, but probably not the only way. So to get at Derek's question, I think that a scientific background can be very valuable but not so much because of any intrinsic nature of science education per se...just the education part.

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19. rhover on March 4, 2011 1:12 PM writes...

I think one reason a scientific approach doesn't help much is that the human world is mostly an emotional one. Because many of the hardest problems are complex and difficult to analyze, there are often experts on both sides so one often has to decide which experts to trust - look at global warming or healthcare. So people make decisions mainly on emotional grounds - "which experts do I trust because I don't have time or energy to replicate their work". After the fact, our brains then select a logical reason to believe those experts over the others in order to satisfy our logical/scientific side, but people tend to think they actually thought it through logically. You see this in alcoholics that confabulate when asked for their reasoning, patients whose corpus callosum is separated, and any number of people caught doing something bizarre, illegal, or immoral. We do not live on Vulcan - this is a world of emotional humans. It's extremely rare to see a decision made completely scientifically - those of us in pharma have seen this over and over!

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20. Humboldt Squid on March 4, 2011 1:31 PM writes...

An understanding of science at least begins the process of making you difficult to con.

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21. MoMo on March 4, 2011 1:31 PM writes...

Ph.D. or any degree doesn't afford automatic success. It is still the 80-20 rule or in the case of medicinal chemistry, the 98-2 rule. 2% of us carrying the other 98.

Its fortunate some of you have Ph.D.s though, you couldn't get a job otherwise.

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22. pete on March 4, 2011 2:36 PM writes...

Politicized misrepresentation/suppression of scientific evidence peaked in the Bush-Junior years, IMHO, & now is coming back again in the new wave of assaults on environmental statutes.

So, regarding valuable parts of a scientific mindset that I would like to see more broadly shared, I'd add:
- appreciation for the statement, "I don't know"
- the ability to discern those who do

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23. abhi on March 4, 2011 3:03 PM writes...

In addition to the above comments, I think the "scientific way" of living also gives one a rational emotional/spiritual connect to the universe. It helps one to better assimilate life's uncertainties and tragedies.

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24. GreedyCynicalSelfInterested on March 4, 2011 3:11 PM writes...

Having the right friends, charisma and social intelligence is much more valuable in monetary terms than almost any scientific ability. The real money is made by managing or manipulating others, not inanimate matter. In our jobs, we live in the social realm, as we first have to get past the hiring managers in order to find work.

It's easier to be an engineer or lab technician and be socially retarded and still have a job vs. having a Ph.D. and trying to find work.

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25. bbooooooya on March 4, 2011 3:23 PM writes...

The deductive reasoning of a science background is a great value to many positions, but this ability is not the sole purview of the scientist. Similar methods of logic are used in non-science disciplines, with the benefit that those in the arts and social sciences (huge generalization forthcoming) tend to be better with the all important people skills: this may be a function of having had time to socialize while schmoes doing chemistry degrees were watching clear liquids drop into test rubes (we didn;t have good fraction collectors when i was in phd school).

o, and re "scientific process to management consulting", not even close. From what I've seen of idiots from Mckinsey and BCG (have gone over to dark side and see them frequently) their biggest contributions are pie charts and meaningless abbreviations for impossible to quantify goals. Seems like a good way to pull down a few hundred K, really.

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26. Carl Lumma on March 4, 2011 3:43 PM writes...

I was thinking about this earlier today: I've always been annoyed by Dawkins and the culture surrounding him, for several reasons. And I now understand the main reason is the way they attack the beliefs themselves instead of the process. Yes, they mention the process, but they don't get it right. An underlying theme in developmental psychology is how we learn things in the world are not part of us. It strikes me that this process is not necessarily complete in most adults.

A Farewell to Alms is excellent.

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27. Rick on March 4, 2011 5:00 PM writes...

Two simple things I can recommend.

1. There is one thing about science that hardly anybody, including a disturbingly large number of scientists, knows but they should: the Scientific Method. Knowing what it is and how to use it would definitely be of benefit to all.

2. Read Richard Feynmann's "The Joy of Finding Things Out" to get cogent reasons why scientific thinking is good for everything and everyone.

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28. Bruce Hamilton on March 4, 2011 5:42 PM writes...

I'd suggest that well-structured curiousity combined with minimal social skills was, until recently, expected by many employers of scientists.

I expect companies also employed scientists for similar positions where those abilities were quickly realigned and effective, such as Wall Streets quants.

For several reasons, the perception is changing. Some scientists have allowed themselves to become advocates, such as in the IPCC, leading to public slanging matches between scientists and, in some cases, suspect ethical behaviour. Modern young researchers have spent too long on the treadmill, and expect quick recognition for those skills. The cost of supporting a bench scientist also continues to rise steeply.

Employers may prefer to outsource non-core research and development requirements, so there's probably a growing niche for technical contractors to tackle diverse technical problems in companies scientifically.

Other than the above, "over-qualified" may be the appropriate descriptor, as curiousity exists in many others who didn't pursue science degrees.

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29. Fred Drinkwater on March 4, 2011 5:50 PM writes...

From Jacob Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" (and if you have seen this episode, and like me can remember him wading into the pond full of ashes of the victims, share my grief):

It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."

I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.
o Episode 11: "Knowledge or Certainty"

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30. Anonymous on March 4, 2011 6:30 PM writes...

"(2) The natural world has rules. They may not be very clear, and they may be wildly complex, but there are rules, and they can be potentially figured out."

For a second I thought you were going to make the leap to QSAR. The "rules" when figured out can be represented by equations.

I thought you were moving in the right direction for a second...

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31. gippgig on March 4, 2011 9:36 PM writes...

Knowledge = power.
This old saying is absolutely true in life in general.
It's also very satisfying to understand what's happening even when it has no practical value.

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32. Watson on March 5, 2011 1:29 AM writes...

"Try to identify all the variables you can, only mess with one of them at a time if at all possible, and value reproducibility very highly."

It may be very conceptually pleasing to view changing one factor at a time, but it is not necessarily the best approach.

Depending upon the expense (in the most general of meanings) of the experiment, a small, focused, full factorial experimental design can help identify the REAL problem with a process, whereas running one-factor-at-a-time experiments can mislead people into "fixing" a problem, only to have its ugly head rear itself right before an inspection.

(Sorry if this is getting Faulknerian)

Assuming that the experimental design actually involves experts taking a short moment to ask "which factors would be the most logical reasons for the problem we observe", then you actually benefit from a full factorial design. You get real statistical parameters at the end that indicate the influence of each factor, and where in factor space to improve the process (i.e., we can change temperature, reaction time, and pressure; which factor is the least important of these, and which combination of important factors leads to the best optimization?).

You really get more bang for your buck with a well designed full factorial experiment... but again, it depends on the expense of running each sample and the number of factors you choose to investigate.

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33. MAK on March 5, 2011 1:35 PM writes...

"The world doesn't have to give you the answers you like, or even care if you like one at all."

Thank you for distilling something that I have been aware of all this time, but never really conscious of as I went through life.

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34. Deepk on March 5, 2011 1:39 PM writes...

My scientific background has helped me invaluably in moving well away from my core training (physical chemistry) to distributed computing, product management and business development. The core principles, curiosity, never blindly trusting data, testing out hypotheses, etc are always there, and have helped not only expand horizons, but also differentiate my approach from others.

One thing you have to be ready to do though is embrace other techniques, outlooks, etc. Scientists tend to be pretty conservative and that doesn't help.

I know many people with scientific backgrounds, thriving in other fields. You just have to keep your options open.

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35. Kieth on March 5, 2011 8:53 PM writes...

My father told me that I couldn't go too far wrong being an attorney even if I never practiced law. I did not become an attorney (glad of that, I am an architect) but I think any training, for example, science, engineering, math (yes, law) that demands and rewards clear thinking will benefit a person in wholeness of their lives.

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36. fred on March 6, 2011 12:10 AM writes...

"(1) the natural world is independent of human thought. "

This is very profound and important and completely lost on millions and millions of people. Try explaining anything more complex than opening a can of tuna to a creationist; a climate-change skeptic; or a cell-phones-cause-brain tumor ideologue.

"the value of a scientific background in other jobs"

Scientists are very, very rich in very important, easily transferable skills. Unfortunately, nobody cares. They will either: 1) consider you overqualified and intimidating or 2) they'll be more interested in hiring their buddies.


Example: could any scientist POSSIBLY screw up Pfizer more than their string of 3 incompetent CEO's? No way. Did any of these turkeys ask any of their highly-educated scientific staff how to fix the company? Nope.

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37. moiety on March 6, 2011 7:35 AM writes...

By some accounts, scientists/inventors etc are very influential.
http://www.howard.k12.md.us/glenwood/sapple/sapple/toptenlistweb.pdf

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38. MIMD on March 6, 2011 10:22 AM writes...

Science in my view is the counterpoint to irrationality and instinct-laden, emotion-driven lives (i.e., ruled by more ancient parts of the brain). The ability to consider the world according to your observations is an evolutionary gift.

More generally, the ability to think rationally and detect logical fallacy (as at http://www.fallacyfiles.org/taxonomy.html , is one major aspect of what distinguishes us from lower forms of life.

Science requires ethics, though (which also requires higher level thought processes). I would say a large part of our world's current problems have to do with a lack of the latter.

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39. MIMD on March 6, 2011 10:34 AM writes...

#38 The ability to consider the world according to your observations is an evolutionary gift.

By "your", I meant Derek's numbered points.

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40. Still Scared of Dinosaurs on March 6, 2011 12:59 PM writes...

"Science in my view is the counterpoint to irrationality and instinct-laden, emotion-driven lives"

Until you get to the point of heated debate on a scientific topic. When I read histories of important scientific debates I wonder "Why did they behave like that?"

Not a "search for facts" why, though. More like a "WTF" why.

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41. Captain Kirk on March 6, 2011 7:49 PM writes...

If we were all "Mr. Spock", it would be fun for about 5 minutes. "Star Trek" may have been only a tv show, but the writers were spot-on in their analysis of this subject. Science as a concept is the best tool we have for understanding the Universe. But humans are driven by emotion, and we cannot divorce ourselves from it.

Anyone who thinks they are truly objective is fooling themselves. We let our emotions work their way into every aspect of our lives. A scientific mindset is a good one to have, but without the ability to communicate, socialize, and self-examine, all the knowledge and analytical skills in the world aren't worth much.

Most importantly, we must never think that we have figured it all out. Just ask Ptolemy.

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42. Jean on March 6, 2011 8:22 PM writes...

I think the above comments indicate that a PhD in most chemical/biology fields is near worthless from an economic perspective. Likely some opportunities in business if you are a near mathematician who can design stock trading algos.

Spend 5 years+ of the most productive years of your life to acquire a sense of the scientific method?

Sounds like most scientists are slow learners.

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43. cliffintokyo on March 7, 2011 4:19 AM writes...

#2 Energy Barrier got it about right for me.
Think of all the things that need to be done when you move house, and get them written down, organized, and prioritized. Then talk nicely and smoothly with all the people you need cooperation from to help you to get things done. While you are under the stress of having so many things to do within a short time frame.
[I am moving house soon, and I can cope easily because I have a scientifc training!]

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44. Cartesian on March 7, 2011 4:26 AM writes...

I agree with 2. Energy Barrier, and it is possible to add that thinking about quantum mechanics can help to have a general thought about things; but psychology and history for example are also important things in order to take a good decision.

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45. Rhenium on March 7, 2011 11:32 AM writes...

Wonderfully interesting post Derek.
I hope you don't mind if I use it in my chemistry lecture (with appropriate attribution).

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46. Derek Lowe on March 7, 2011 11:56 AM writes...

Rhenium - any way you see fit! Let us know how the discussion goes. . .

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47. sepisp on March 7, 2011 12:36 PM writes...

Most comments here seem to be founded on two fallacies: first, that the scientist's job is completely isolated and in an ivory tower, and second, that we're all high-functioning autistics. At least try, people!

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48. Vader on March 7, 2011 4:37 PM writes...

An important rule you left out: If you can't think of any experiment that could prove your theory false, it's not science.

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49. Captain Kirk on March 7, 2011 4:38 PM writes...

47 sepisp-

We are neither, of course. But watch any movie, cartoon, SNL sketch, or anywhere else that pop culture depicts scientists, and you will get one or both of your mentioned fallacies. We are fighting that perception of scientists all the time, and it has probably even worked its way into our own view of ourselves.

Here is a vision of Nirvana... a day in which science is presented as something exciting and important to the public as which Hollywood celebrity is currently in rehab.

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50. abhi on March 7, 2011 6:00 PM writes...

To my mind, Feynman has summed up this situation beautifully - "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts"

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51. Cartesian on March 8, 2011 5:39 AM writes...

Also I think that something very important is the talent to find some solutions by the thought, to make good theories, which is done at the highest level by scientists generally. In order to solve complicated problems, it is better to be good at it: so these scientists if they are also good in some other realms (psychology, history…) should have more importance in order to live in a better world (go faster to the solution).

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52. Lois on March 8, 2011 8:47 AM writes...

As a Development Scientist, I detect in some comments a few old stereotypes about scientists lacking people and communication skills, slightly autistic people locked into his lab and his own thoughts, with no contact or interests towards what is going on outside their own crazy world. Very far from the truth, I truly think as the author does, that science and scientific thinking can open opportunities in other fields. Scientists tend to be good logical thinkers and a lot of us quite creative and also self-motivated. I know a few that have made a good career in Business and Development. Many us working in Science can work in very competitive, fast-changing industries and environments, and for that, you must be a fast thinker, adaptable and have good people and management skills, and I know a lot of “autistic scientists” that are actually brilliant on this areas. But even if people truly think the comment below is right, who cares? I still think I chose the most wonderful profession and enjoy every second of it. And yes, it gave me great transferable skills and a different outlook to life and the world. Science should be better treated and respected in society, a professor of mine during my time in the University use to say “Science is also culture and as such should be treated”. How many names, dates of battles, kings and queens and so on (which by the way before some historian gets angry, I loved and it is also important as any knowledge!) we had to learn, but how little children left high school knowing what a cell or a protein is or have any general knowledge in Science.
What an unfortunate comment!!
42. Jean on March 6, 2011 8:22 PM writes...
Spend 5 years+ of the most productive years of your life to acquire a sense of the scientific method?
Sounds like most scientists are slow learners.

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