Talk:Gentle Science

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Comments on Gentle Science

Keith Garlid 2012-11-21

I also have some comments about this "gentle science" nonsense. Where would I put that? As you may guess, I think science should be ferociously argumentative if the specific subject has any importance.

Erich Gnaiger 2012-10-28

Feedback to the Conference flawopiryna (Lodz, PL; Oct 2012), organized by Cezary Watala and colleagues: "Dear Colleagues: My feedback and thanks for the hospitality experienced in Lodz and Krakow would be incomplete without emphasizing, that this was an experience of ‘Gentle Science’. While Gentle Science is an illusion that may persist like the never-ending attempts of the Oroboros, Gentle Science can become real life at such rare occasions. And if you want to add a sweet taste to the flavonoids – see the correlation between loving chocolate and winning the Nobel price (Messerli_2012_New England J Med).

Brian L Bayne 2012-03-25

Thanks for the introduction to Gentle Science. I applaud the statements, objectives etc. Cleaning out the stables won't be easy. I'd like to follow developments scientists "dont blog", but there are other ways to keep informed. The concept is inspiring.

Mary-Ellen Harper 2012-03-25

Personally, I certainly appreciate the importance of Gentle Science, especially in the very competitive funding climate that we all are trying to work in!

J Malcolm Shick 2011-09-26

You mention "slow food" as contributing terminology to various "slow" movements (a traffic slogan in the US is "slow down and live"). I found an explicit mention of this elsewhere (Nature, no less): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7109/full/443271e.html

Pablo M Garcia-Roves 2010-01-14

Thanks for the summary of the Gentle Science movement. I have read the points and I like the first draft, I don't have any thing to add right now but I hope we keep working on that idea and I hope reality for some scientist.

Dominique-Marie Votion 2010-01-12

Gentle Science is a necessity for those who want to respect patients (horses in my case but also their owner), Science and ultimately, themselves. Gentle Science is a peaceful battle that we have committed every day.

Magnus Hansson 2010-01-12

A great and gentle summary! Magnus

Zuzana Sumbalova 2010-01-12

I really appreciated the atmosphere of the QA meeting with its open discussions and I think that this type of meetings should be absolutely essential in our work, because we all are colleagues working on the same thing. We all want to know exact mechanisms of diseases and have efficient tools for their therapy. I was very impressed by the ideas of gentle science. We all have to keep these ideas in our minds in our everyday work so they can come true. I am ready for that. With best wishes to gentle science, Zuzana

Shilpa Iyer 2010-01-01

The contents of .. the summary link for QA workshop touched my heart. As I was sitting and reading the information presented on our web page, my unruly fingers typed out the thoughts to you. As this verse goes....
For Academic chairs are many,
Yet wise and noble teachers few;
And lecture rooms numerous,
Youth seeking truth and justice few.


Fast discoveries in science are a new reality,
Creating chaotic events lacking in quality,
We all read such papers so why complain?
Will it ever change or will this remain?


Certainly this cannot be mother nature’s way,
For she asks us to stop and think QA.
One must strive to improve quality,
Hidden in the depths of our fractal creativity


As we ameliorate our human society.
under the umbrella of scientific quality.
For each of us has a little responsibility,
To shape the world with our own individuality.


Einstein said, ”Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple and may as a rule be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” Yes, you are so right.. “GS” should not be treated as a trivial or light hearted concept. It is in fact a movement which aims towards contributing to the elevation of the human race and human life. Gentle science is a wake up call urging all of us to understand the intellectual work be it creative or receptive. It is a contemporary thought built upon an ancient concept. As an artist scientist all I can say is this movement is a hidden, intricate and beautiful fractal order underlying all seemingly chaotic fast paced scientific events. We as individuals can be personified as patterns relaying the simple unifying message in infinite variations and themes to revolutionize the view of the scientific world. Gentle Science basically aims to create a bridge between science and spirituality and applies this knowledge to better understand our own life and to live in harmony within our selves and with the universe around us. What we are really trying to achieve is a genesis of new ideas to reform our society.

Daniel Alan Kane, 2010-01-02

I have .. been thinking more and more about the approaches toward Gentle Science and how it can be effectively communicated. I feel that your summary is an excellent start. I would like to add something that is perhaps so fundamental to Gentle Science that it may be unnecessary to include:
Science has been defined as "The knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science). Gentle Science balances the "systematic acquisition of knowledge based on the scientific method" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science) with thorough reflection upon these systems and methods. This is akin to the statement by Socrates that "The unexamined life is not worth living..." (Plato, Apology, 38a; http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Socrates). An adaptation might be "unexamined science is not worth practicing/publishing." However, in a more practical sense, the examination of science may involve considering science while keeping in mind the items outlined in our website draft. This notion of reflection/examination/awareness may also then overlap with MiPArt and other artistic approaches.

Erich Gnaiger 2009-12-31

Dear Gentle Scientists:
It was a memorable dinner at the conclusion of our QA workshop in the restaurant 'Glasmalerei' (window painting), a gentle discussion on Gentle Science. Gentle Science is far from an illusion or idealistic picture of humanistic science, far from a soft 'alternative' dream of a better non-achievable world. I compare Gentle Science to sports: At its best, good sports is fair, tough and playful, sometimes extreme and sometimes balanced, not a necessity but an added value, exciting within the full range of fun and pain, within the freedom provided by well defined rules, and always attacked by the crippling methods of braking the rules. The real losers are those who believe in those who break the rules, it is less clear who are the winners: the players, the teams, the 'subjects' (medicine, environment, students, technologies), or backstage figures who are not even part of the 'game', ..?
To me, there is no alternative to Gentle Science, otherwise I would have to change my profession as a scientist, and I would have to abandon my perspective of instrumental development and quit OROBOROS INSTRUMENTS and high-resolution respirometry. Gentle Science is a reality - the high interest in our QA workshop provided a very nice example. Hence it is worthwhile to give it a voice, and to make it happen on an explicit and conscientious basis. Further discussions during the O2k-Workshop on HRR resulted in very positive feedback.
An attempt of collecting some summary notes (during our trip from Schroecken back to Innsbruck) is now available as a first draft on our website under 'Links'.
Perhaps .. you may find the time to take a look at the short summary; add your bits and pieces; make your corrections, deletions, and extensions; and provide suggestions for possible next steps. There is great potential in a 'Gentle Science' movement, with a very thin borderline between (i) a merely trivial collection of simply 'good' things, or (ii) a convincing concept of what is directly needed now and in the future. I am looking forward to adding your Gentle Science suggestions to further updates.
With the very best wishes for the New Year 2010, in the spirit of Gentle Science,
Erich