I've just read a short, approachable article that reminded me of some rather interesting background reading I did 6–12 months ago. Throughout the early stages of my doctoral research, I was encouraged to read about some of the "big names" in scientific endeavour: Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Crick & Watson. While my research is very much positioned in the social science field, my supervisor suggested that reading widely would help me to understand how great minds went about their work, how they recognised "opportunities", and how they achieved breakthroughs.
A key learning to emerge from all this background reading is that Galileo, Newton and Einstein all employed an iterative technique of discovery. They cycled around an inductive–deductive loop, inferring a theory and then testing it. They modified existing tools in order to conduct previously unknown tests. And this is what made their work effective.
As we approach Christmas, and look at the night sky, we can thank Galileo for recognising the spyglass might be useful to understand the heavenly bodies. And I thank my supervisor for helping me recognise the inductive–deductive loop, a technique I've adopted for my own research.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.