Paper recommendation: Fostering creative thinking in science

I’d like to recommend the following paper: Dual thinking for scientists. Scheffer M, Bascompte J, Bjordam T, Carpenter S … Mazzeo N, Meerhoff M, Sala O, Westley F.  Ecology and Society 2015; 20(2). DOI: 10.5751/ES-07434-200203. Available here.

Figure one, copied from the recommended paper

Figure one, copied from the recommended paper

This paper makes an exceptionally important point. In order to generate useful, genuinely new insights, scientists need to (re-)learn to think intuitively, and balance such intuitive thinking with reasoning. This, in turn, requires space for reflection and informal activities. While this point may be obvious to some, most institutional structures still do not adequately support such non-formalised ways of doing science. This paper nicely reasons, drawing on a range of useful examples and literature, why it is important to balance reasoning with more open-minded, intuitive perception.

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