Tuesday, November 1, 2016


That's us Galactics. We're in the US and on hiatus from the sailing life.

For me, that means a period of immersion in the science life (above).

I've been thinking a lot about the practice of science.

Like the difference between skepticism and conservatism in science - the former is the foundation of our approach, but it can too easily transform into the latter, in which we're skeptical about everything but the status quo paradigm.

I've been thinking about how our current understanding of the problems I work on is fundamentally wrong in some way. That error will be painfully obvious in the future, but it is so hard for us to see the error now.

I've been thinking about the paths that a scientist can take in their career. You can contribute to the incremental progress of the larger community, which is guaranteed to produce results over time - a safer approach. Or you can step back and try to see a path that everyone else has missed, and which might give a shortcut that can bypass a decade of more incremental work - a much riskier approach!

And I've been thinking about how difficult it is to make a really useful contribution in a field where there are a lot of really smart people working really hard on the same questions.

Science, like sailing, rewards the state of being all-in.

In between science meetings and time spent navel-gazing on the questions above, I have a two-week break in which I've joined Alisa and the boys as we catch up with our State-side loved ones.

We've been having a great time.

A dry run for their first Halloween. Tintin and Captain Haddock.

1 comment:

  1. re the topic of the practice of science: