Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Creativity of Science

Albert Einstein once said that “the greatest scientists are artists as well.” Unfortunately many people don’t believe that scientists can be artists too, because that would imply that scientists are creative. Whenever people hear the word creativity, their minds will usually picture a best selling novel, a famous artist or a top musician, a scientists working hard over a microscope doesn’t quite fit the picture of “creativity.” Something that many people regret to understand is that a science experiment takes months of thought, evaluation, and work, just as a book or a work of art does.
What makes someone creative? Is it the dictionary.com definition which defines the term as “The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns,relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination?” Is that not what a scientist does? Artists observe other’s paintings, they capture the styles of strokes, colors, and structure to then create their own “unique,” image by twisting classic techniques to create an image that’s never been seen before. A scientist does the same thing. They observe the work of their peers, identify a problem, and try to improve it by performing their own experiment, the results of this process have been miraculous. The understanding of DNA we have today is thanks to to a variety of scientists who kept digging deeper in each other's experiments. Gregor Mendel identified inheritance, Theodor Boveri, and Walter Sutton discovered that particles of inheritance (a.k.a genes) are found on chromosomes, which turned into the discovery that DNA carries the genes in an experiment carried out by Frederick Griffith, and Oswald Avery. Eventually leading to Watson and Crick discovering the molecular structure of DNA. This is just one example where a variety of scientist built off of eachother’s experiments, by thinking deeper and using their creativity.   
Many people think that restricting students to follow the scientific method stifles their creativity, and by giving kids labs of which the results are known, and the procedure is laid out in front of them doesn’t allow students to explore the scientific world.  When in fact students are taught to follow the scientific method, just as students are taught to follow basic grammar in english class. The point of science experiments, even the ones where the result is known is to make students dig deeper into the meaning of the results, to ask questions about the outcome and understand what it means. This thought process helps students gain critical thinking skills which are important in life.
No scientific manual told Robert Millikan that by bending a cathode ray using an electrical field would reveal the electron, or that Louis Pasteur’s despinning of a rabbit would lead to a rabies vaccine. These experiments and their results were successful using scientific knowledge, creativity and resilience. Important traits for any student to learn.  

Works Cited
The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.
"Creativity in Science." Explore the Role of Creativity in Science. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.
Cutraro, Jennifer. "How Creativity Powers Science." Science News for Students. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.
"Dictionary.com - The World's Favorite Online Dictionary!" Dictionary.com. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.
"The Real Process of Science." The Real Process of Science. Web. 18 Dec. 2016.