Why is it so hard to come up with truly novel scientific ideas? #research #creativity #phdlife | Summary and Q&A

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July 13, 2021
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Life in academia
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Why is it so hard to come up with truly novel scientific ideas? #research #creativity #phdlife

TL;DR

Generating truly novel ideas in science is difficult due to the need for a solid understanding of the field, constructing a conceptual framework, identifying what is missing, importing ideas from other areas, and finding connections and gaps.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is it difficult to have truly novel ideas in science?

Generating novel ideas in science is challenging because it requires a solid understanding of the field, the ability to construct a conceptual framework, and identifying what is missing or not yet explored within the field.

Q: How do scientists identify what is missing in their knowledge?

Scientists need to carefully examine their framework and determine what elements or connections are absent. This process involves critically analyzing existing literature and research to identify gaps in knowledge or unexplored areas.

Q: How can ideas from other areas be imported into a specific field of science?

Ideas from related areas or other domains within the same field can be imported by applying concepts across levels or domains. This requires thinking creatively and making connections between previously unrelated topics.

Q: Why is the process of generating novel ideas in science considered hard but rewarding?

The process is challenging due to the need for deep knowledge, constructing frameworks, identifying gaps, and making creative connections. However, the reward comes from contributing to the advancement of knowledge and making unique discoveries.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Generating novel ideas in science requires a deep understanding of the field and the ability to construct a conceptual framework to fit all the information together.

  • Identifying what is missing in the current scientific knowledge is a crucial step in generating truly novel ideas.

  • Importing ideas from related areas and applying concepts across different levels or domains within a field can lead to conceptual discoveries.

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