Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Importance of Stupidity in Research

Here's a brief essay by Martin Schwartz, published in the Journal of Cell Science. The title really says it all: The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research. There's not much more that I can say, except that I think Dr. Schwartz pretty much hits it right on the head with this one! It's a short, one-page essay about the importance of recognizing the human-ness of science and cultivating and fostering the proper attitude towards uncertainty and the unknown in research. Pretty good stuff, with lots of good advice for both Teachers and Students.

Works Cited:

Schwartz, M.A., 2008, The importance of stupidity in scientific research: Journal of Cell Science, v. 121, p. 1771


Mel said...

I know I have heard of similar a article published but I can't find it. I want to say it was a letter in Science or Nature pointing out why people lose interest in science starting in high school and beyond - because it makes the feel stupid. If I find the article I will post it in the comments.

Bryan said...

Being comfortable with uncertainty? Now that is just silly. Why if I didn't know that the global cabal of science was going to tell me the answer to my experiments, before I ran them, I'd never do such a thing.

Of course we still go through the "motions" of the experiment, but that is only to throw the Illuminati off our trail and keep our shadowy overlords content (so that they may provide future sustenance known as "grants").

In all seriousness, based on the title of this post, I thought you were going to comment on Schulte et a[d naseum], 2010.

BrianR said...

That's a great essay ... thanks for pointing it out

Dan Olner said...

Oh my God. I'm doing a PhD, and that is probably the single most useful thing I've ever read - and I've read a lot of books that promise to explain the process. This guy just lifted a huge weight off my shoulders with one page. *sigh*. (Bearing in mind the risk that I might just actually be stupid, of course...)