In the new autumn quarter course BIO 61: “Science as a Creative Process,” students learn about the process of creative problem solving in the sciences. Directed toward freshmen interested in STEM, the course provides room for students to explore technology through experiments in addition to teaching students about the history of creative thinking in science.
At subway stations and bus stops, we’re warned by conductors “mind the gap.” While in those cases, the solution is a short hop from side to side, when it comes to the gap in scientific knowledge, both sides must work to shrink, not simply avoid, it.
I find myself doing such hard thinking at odd intervals, usually when science is treating me either very poorly or very well, or when some environmental catastrophe rouses the media. Mostly, I ask myself, “Does this research matter? Am I doing enough?”