E.O. Wilson: A good scientist thinks like a poet, works like a bookkeeper

English: Edward O. Wilson
English: Edward O. Wilson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As my students know very well, I love the whole idea of TED. “Ideas worth spreading” is their mantra and it fits. I just finished watching a TEDMED talk by Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson from 2012 that I have watched several times before entitled, “Advice to Young Scientists”. However, this time through extra digging, I found a short Q & A that followed that talk in which Wilson elaborates on why imagination is so important in science. Expounding on the words of Einstein, Wilson says, paraphrasing, that a scientist must think like a poet and work like a bookkeeper. ¬†Creativity and imagination are essential and scientific training makes the discoveries possible.