Photo: Mushroom arrays on the forest floor in a “play” experiment (S. Heard).
Much of science is a craft: doing it well involves the application of practiced skills, which can be honed (if never completely mastered) by anyone with time and experience. In an experiment, for example, we have powerful experimental design, meticulous repetition and recordkeeping, appropriate statistical analysis, and clear writing to report the results – all things we can become objectively better and better at with practice.
But there’s creativity in science too, and it lies in the source of our ideas. This part of science is more mysterious. Continue reading