The successful scientist

The scientific method is the most powerful invention humans have ever created. It’s not just for people in white coats and in labs. The scientific method has changed what we wear, what we eat, the health of our families, the way we earn a living–the world as we know it is a result of a simple process of hypothesis, testing and explanation.

Unfortunately, school and other systems in our world focus on just one or two of the elements necessary to do it well.

  1. Know the rules, maxims and outcomes that came before. Do the reading, score well on the test.
  2. Understand the thinking behind these rules, so you can dive deeper and either change the rules or expand on them.
  3. Do tests that others haven’t thought of or that people don’t think will work. Intentionally create falsifiable hypotheses, knowing that you might be wrong, and then go test them.
  4. Publish your results so that others can examine your work and improve it. Show your work. Invite correction and improvement.
  5. Explain what you did clearly so that it becomes part of the canon, so it can be used by others, until it’s replaced by something even more useful.

There are very few contentious arguments in our world today that couldn’t be more quickly resolved if all involved were willing to act in good faith and work their way through the steps together.

Because if you seek to lead or to change minds, if you’re working for better, then you’re a scientist.

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