How Maverick Scientists Changed Science & the World

boat birds sunset“In some cases, a new branch of the sciences … can begin with a few mavericks (with a high Intelligence/Knowledge [I/K] ratio) whose research is initially dismissed as speculative,” writes Kathleen Taylor, research scientist at oxford University. “As their way of thinking gradually wins acceptance, it attracts recruits at an increasing rate until a paradigm shift occurs and allegiances transfer wholesale from the old establishment to the new. A period of growing stability follows in which knowledge is assembled (with a decrease in I/K ratio) which supports the new ideas. Creative output falls, stagnation gradually sets in. Problems begin to emerge, which are ignored by all but a few … and so the cycle begins again.”

Despite the mandate of exploration and discovery in science, the scientific community can be rather harsh with those who threaten its established hegemony. Many scientists have been ridiculed and marginalized by their peers only to have their findings and conclusions vindicated much later. Sometimes, after they themselves have perished. I call it artist syndrome.

Over a hundred years ago, in 1871, James Clerk Maxwell’s Cambridge University inaugural lecture expressed the mood of scientific achievement at the time: “In a few years,” he said rather smugly, “all the great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and … the only occupation which will then be left to the men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals.” A hundred and forty-four years later, we are far from tying off decimal points and remain poised to understand the great wonders of our universe, quantum gravity and the nature of reality. Perhaps—I say a little tongue in cheek—it is time for the women of science to forge ahead. Which brings me to non-local phenomena, quantum entanglement and decoherence, Schrödinger’s cat, and the possibility of instantaneous long-range communication.

What do these quantum concepts have to do with water and my book Water Is…? Nothing … Well, everything.

 

Water Is-pBook COVERThis article is an excerpt from Water Is… (Pixl Press), Preface.

 

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “How Maverick Scientists Changed Science & the World

  1. Ah yes, Maverick ideas. I used to see my leaping from field to field to construct my archetypal books as a great virtue, though I was much derided by my one-theory-at-a-time professional colleagues. I am entranced with the Preface to your book and last night, reading on, enhanced my vocabulary by “anamolous,” “tetrahedron,” and “fractal,” which I will try to incorporate into my conversation….

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s