We came across a booklet that could be a good example for the kind of studies by the envisioned Thinkibility University. At its West Wing, scientists dissect the basic thinking patterns in a scientific discipline.
Siddhartha Mukherjee was asking himself: If there is a science of medicine, then science has laws. Physics has laws. Chemistry has laws. Biology has laws.
The simple question was: If that’s the case, then what are the laws of medicine? These were not meant to be universal commandments. These were meant to be explorations about principles that might hold true about medicine today and about medicine in the future. That was the framework for this book.
Law One: A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.
Law Two: “Normals” teach us rules; “outliers” teach us laws
Law Three: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias
Watch or read here an interview with him about the book. You could also read the Ted book: The Laws of Medicine Field – Notes from an Uncertain Science
For us, Gijs and Asa, it is not the description of the laws of a scientific discipline that interests us – how interesting they are by itself but the possibility they give to escape from it. Once spelled out, laws are just vehicles to set up new approaches.
In short, at the West Wing of the Thinkibility University, they are thinking laterally about science.
We have earlier written about patterns in science and possible escapes from them in the following blog posts:
- Thinking Patterns in Science
- Patterns in Psychological Research
- Economical theory: Training in Economics is a Serious Handicap
Our next post about the topic “Patterns in Science” will be about Patterns in Law. Could it be that in Western law assumptions are hidden that hinders us in modern times?
Not to miss? Follow Thinkibility. The blog about Thinking, Creativity, Innovation and Design.
3 Replies to “Patterns in Medicine”
A useful reminder of how valuable the different logical and lateral thinking is.
Lol, I must have been half-asleep when I wrote my comment. What I meant to say was:
This article is a useful reminder of the difference between logical and lateral thinking, and how valuable each can be in its appropriate context.
The study of medicines is heavenly based on the use of Gaussian curves. The graph of a Gaussian is a characteristic symmetric “bell curve” shape. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Normal_Distribution_PDF.svg
However, Todd Rose convincingly shows that an average person does not exist. What does that mean for the life sciences? And other scientific disciplines?
See other aplications; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian_function#Applications
THE END OF AVERAGE
Are you above average? Is your child an A student? Is your employee an introvert or an extrovert? Every day we are measured against the “average person,” judged according to how closely we resemble the average–or how far we exceed it. The assumption that average-based yardsticks like academic GPAs, personality tests, and annual performance reviews reveal something meaningful about our ability is so ingrained in our consciousness that we never question it. But this assumption, argues Harvard scientist Todd Rose, is spectacularly wrong.