"Interested in science"
Via Uncommon Descent, a mostly unsurprising article
about the personalities of scientists. The article is proposing a new sub-branch of psychology to study this, which is purely unnecessary. Lots of good writers have been analyzing this for the last hundred years. With one interesting exception, the characteristics mentioned here agree with the long series of observations by philosophers and essayists.
The unsurprising part:"Neuroscientists have observed the brain correlations of scientific reasoning, discovering, for instance, that people pay more attention to data that concur with their own personal theories."
Basic human nature, not peculiar to scientist types.
The exception: "In meta-analyses of personality studies of scientific interest and creativity, he has teased out a contradiction: People who are highly interested in science are higher than others in conscientiousness
(that is, such traits as caution and fastidiousness) and lower in openness
to experience. Meanwhile, scientific creativity is associated with low conscientiousness and high openness."Lower in openness
is the unexpected part. Historically, being open to new experience has always been the most important
requirement for doing science.
In recent times Big Science has become more religion than science, based on strict adherence to predetermined abstract theories handed down by the priesthood, and purely unfriendly to observation and experience.
When open-to-experience youngsters come to understand this new emphasis, they leave the field of science in disgust.
Thus I'm wondering how the quality of "interested in science" was defined by these authors. Do they mean kids who like to play with chemicals and examine critters in creeks? Or do they mean graduate students who have already been selected by the priesthood for orthodoxy? If the latter, no contradiction. These are people who will do well in the professional world of modern religious "science", but they are not really scientific personalities.
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