March 5, 2007
A lot of people’s first response to anything new is “No!”. People are often given a plethora of opportunities but they decline to pursue any of them. In college, there are tons of groups and organizations that they can join, but they decline because they do not want to interrupt their schedule of weekend drinks and seclusive groups.
My question is similar to a question that most writers ask: “How can one be creative without a strong background of experience?” Creativity, in my opinion, comes from living through many different experiences. For example, a person might ask a physics major if they can come up with a great idea for some type of theorem. Now, if the scientist is smart, they might be able to come up with a theory that works, but if they have a broad background, they might be able to catch people’s attention with their theory by applying it to Nascar or to dentures, or something more “everyday” that common people can understand.
One of the most famous geology papers I’ve read is titled “Kansas is flatter than a Pancake“. Bausch and Lomb, in conjuncture with a research institution, just published an empirical equation for explaining beer goggles — the effect that some drinking say they have when they decide to go home with someone they find in somber mode undesirable. Both of these are examples of adding life experience to research and creativity, and both are relatively famous. In my opinion, more should be done to incorporate the excitement of life into the dullness of science.
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