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One thing to change: Think more like children

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/06/focal-point-harvard-professor-avi-loeb-wants-more-scientists-to-think-like-children/

One thing to change: Think more like children

Avi Loeb says youthful curiosity offers a compelling model for creative research

DATE:June 28, 2019

This is part of a series called Focal Point, in which we ask a range of Harvard faculty members to answer the same question.

QUESTION: What is one thing wrong with the world that you would change, and why?

The one thing I would change about the world is to transform my colleagues in academia to kids all over again, so they would follow the sincere path of learning about the world.

Research can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. By forecasting what we expect to find and using new data to justify prejudice, we will avoid creating new realities. Innovation demands risk-taking, sometimes contrary to our best academic instincts of enhancing our image within our community of scholars. Learning means giving a higher priority to the world around you than to yourself. Without the humble attitude of a child, innovation slows down and the efficiency of the academic pursuit of the truth grinds to a halt. We all become static museum items rather than dynamic innovators.

Noam Mayraz's picture

Thank Noam for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 9, 2019 1:17 pm GMT

Good food for thought, Noam. There's definitely a certain of amount of creativity or willingness to try the 'impossible' that gets pushed out of children as they go through school, and I think you find the successful game-changers in industry (the Elon Musk, Bill Gates, etc. of the world) are the ones who don't feel constrained by perceived limitations. 

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