Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nobel Laureate

It is hard to be an instructor in psychoanalysis. It is a struggle to hold lightly to our theories while attempting to impart key psychoanalytic concepts, and while simultaneously hoping to co-create an open inquiry in the classroom in order to both model open inquiry and to facilitate the procedural learning of it. The comments this week of Isreali born scientist Dan Schechtman may have helped.

Dan Schechtman, in 1982, described a new chemical structure “quasicrystals” which then defied the expectation that crystals are to be regular and repeating, and for this he lost his place on a US research team. In 1982 his idea was too unorthodox to be credible. Almost thirty years later, quasicrystals are being studied as a way to convert heat into electricity. Schechtman is not only vindicated, but honored when this week he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Schechtman, now 70 years old, said about his work, “A good scientist is a humble and a listening scientist, and not one who is sure 100% in what he reads in the textbooks; and this is a lesson also to students to be open.”

No comments: