Science combines the most important ideals of humanity – creativity and rationality – which are not combined in this way in any other activity.
Creativity is shared with art and belles lettres, but these suffer from immanent subjectivism, in which everything can be declared beautiful and nobody can explain the difference between the opera Don Giovanni and the pop group Modern Talking. On the other hand, the rationality of law makes it a bit boring – I confess to falling asleep when trying to follow legal issues.
A scientist can be free like an artist and rigorous like a notary, both at the same time. Now, I know that in reality, this is not always the case. Many people called ‘scientists’ have no idea about scientific inquiry – they don’t know how to set an experiment or how to formulate a hypothesis, but they know how to push an impressive project and can establish the connections necessary to publish in journals. But science cannot be blamed for these people.
Boris Kotchoubey is a contributor to Plasticity in Epilepsy: Dynamic Aspects of Brain Function (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and System Theories and A Priori Aspects of Perception (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).