Every scientist knows this, but for two centuries they have fallen mute about it, preferring instead a safer narrative about the ‘empirical method’ or ‘the logic of scientific discovery’. Science education favours the presentation of results, and a focus on knowledge, rather than the human stories of wonder, imagination, failed ideas and those glorious and uninvited moments of illumination that thread through the lives of all who actually do science. Our media mouths the same message – I will never forget the BBC documentary on computer science in which the presenter assured viewers, face to camera, that there is no room for imagination in science. No wonder my young colleagues had become disillusioned.Tom McLeish, “Science is deeply imaginative: why is this treated as a secret?” at Aeon
Hmmm. The multiverse crowd does not lack imagination. Nor do those who have convinced themselves of panpsychism. The thing about imagination in science is that it must be disciplined. If it isn’t, it ends up competing with fiction, without the style.
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