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Mar 20, 2022Liked by Jan Hendrik Kirchner

I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I'm thinking about scientific topics more in terms of viewing angles than people. This may be congruent in most cases, as any researcher usually has a certain point of view and viewing angle on the topic at hand. Extraordinary researchers, like Newton and Einstein, are extraordinary because they described a well-known problem from a completely new angle, adding a new perspective to science.

I think there are some advantages of thinking in terms of viewing angles rather than people:

a) It is easier to divide a scientific standpoint from a person's opinion.

b) It becomes obvious that this has two sides: A viewing angle can show new ways to understanding, but at the same time can blind you to other perspectives.

c) It makes clear that the scientific value of a new approach is not grounded in the reputation or brainpower of a researcher but in the new way of looking at a problem.

d) It follows that in order to make new discoveries, you have to search for new perspectives, not smarter people.

That said, viewing angles are usually not found by googling them. So real scientific work probably boils down to starting from the people perspective, understanding and abstracting the perspective of various scientists, and then maybe looking for new viewing angles no one has thought of yet.

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