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For Those Who Dare to be Different

In healthcare or chemistry - thinking outside the box brings benefits and sometimes a Nobel Prize!

This article first appeared on Blogcritics.org

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Israel's Dan Shechtman knows how difficult it can be to think differently from a consensus of scientists.

 In 1982, Shechtman discovered the patterned but nonrepeating atomic structures of quasicrystals.  Members of the scientific community ridiculed Schectman, calling his discovery nonsense, a physical impossibility and denouncing him as a “quasi-scientist.”  

Yet, last week Shechtman’s discovery won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry! 

The opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal noted, 

“Today, Shechtman's observations have been fully validated and quasicrystals are beginning to have commercial applications. But his story is a reminder that a consensus of scientists is no substitute for, and often a bar to, great science. That's especially so when the consensus hardens into a dogmatic and self-satisfied enterprise.

Isn't there another field in which a similar kind of consensus has taken hold, with similarly unpleasant consequences for those who question its core assumptions?” 

What about healthcare? 

Is it nonsense to question if health and illness are totally physical in nature, and therefore all therapies should be physical ones?  I’ve noticed a growing acceptance of alternative approaches to conventional Western medicine.  U.S. News recently reported some of the surprising findings of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey.  The report noted that three out of four health care workers turn to some form of complementary or alternative healthcare option. Doctors and nurses were even twice as likely to do so than non-clinical health workers. 

I believe the beneficial effect of spiritual thinking--seeing ourselves as more than a physical body and keeping our thoughts in tune with an all-loving divinity--can bring about favorable health outcomes.  Many may be skeptical of this approach, but as Shechtman’s experience proved, what’s outside the box today may be tomorrow’s Nobel Prize.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA October 15, 2011 at 12:20 AM
I'm interested to see another architect PatchWebBlogPosting as I often do on Mercer Island. J-
Bill Scott October 27, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Hi Jerry: I'd also enjoying writing about architecture and building, but that's not my current focus, maybe later. Grateful that I can read yours! Thanks for touching base.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA October 28, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Bill- Years ago I knew the Mormon architect who was doing the Bellevue Temple and others around the NorthWest. A fine man- as was my LDS dental office tenant. Jerry-

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