TED Conversations

Michael Moore

Disruptive Physician, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences


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When confronted with new ideas like the ones presented by Mina Bissell, how do we change our views in today's scientific establishment?

Today's scientific research is different than research of 100. 50, or even 20 years ago. The advances are generally more incremental, less understandable to non-scientists, and require an expensive research infrastructure. In addition, because of limited resources we often do not have the time or money to reconfirm results, resulting in less validated information being incorporated into our knowledge base. To me this is a similar situation that resulted in the scientific profession, the science journal, and the concept of peer review. Now, because of the explosion of science knowledge, and the idea that scientific knowledge can be proprietary, these structures/ideas are failing us...and revolutionary ideas like Mina Bissell's can pass us by because they are unrecognized.

Are we entering a new era where we need new models of how we validate knowledge? Do we just retain our trend to open information and hope the knowledge rises to the surface, or is there still a role for curation and peer review?

What are the kinds of skills that the "New Scientist" will need? Maybe just as important, what are the skills they will not need?


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    Jul 18 2012: Mina Bissell's idea is indeed revolutionary, but she is not the only one with such ideas. In my opinion her idea/discovery supports Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic field. Here's a link on this subject for those interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dm8-OpO9oQ
    As for answering your question, the principles Mina Bissell stated to be important for new discoveries are also important in accepting those discoveries as possible solutions to unanswered questions, so as she said:
    1- think outside the box
    2- be curious instead of arrogant
    I might add: question evidence with "what if it is so, and I just never thought about it from this point of view?" instead of "how does this fit the old concept?" Maybe the old concept was pretty narrow minded viewed from where science got today, so we have to open our minds to new approaches. Progress in science implies invalidating old hypothesis that we now came to call concepts, maybe because we are now able to see a bigger picture. For short: think "what if?" instead of "no way!"

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