Ever feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle to convince your conservative colleagues that your new theory or hypothesis has merit? Feel like talking to them is much like talking to your teenage daughter who just slammed the door in your face?
Check out this video by Dan Schechtman, especially the part mid-way through, where he talks about the resistance he faced to the idea that a crystal could have 5-fold symmetry.
It wasn’t like he was just some random nobody proposing this theory from out of the blue.
No, Dan is a respected crystallographer. The reason he proposed this new type of crystal was because he had direct evidence, staring him in the face, that it was real. Still, people wouldn’t believe it.
Hey, my science friends, let’s use this as an opportunity to open our minds just a bit more to new ideas. It’s easy to point the finger of blame at conservative colleagues when it comes to our ideas, but then the question is this: are we really open-minded when it comes to other colleague’s more “out there” ideas?
We can’t have it both ways, folks. If we want others to be open minded and listen to us and our wild ideas, we have to be willing to return the favor.