Some questions on scientific genius and scientific progress
The recent paper published by Simonton on Nature has already opened a debate in the scientific community. Summarizing, he maintains that “genius in science has become extinct”. In his opinion “scientist today might require more raw intelligence to become a first-rate researcher than it took to become a genius during the “heroic age” of the scientific revolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, given how much information and experience researchers must acquire to become proficient”. Besides the hyper-specialization that characterized the contemporary scientific world, Simonton explains the extinction of scientific genius sharing the Thomas Kuhn’s point of view, that a scientific revolution happens only in front of a discipline state of crisis produced by an accumulation of critical findings that continue to resist explanation. And the natural sciences do not seem in a crisis state.
Creativity and Science: contrasting or complementary terms?
Can really the creative insights be understood in scientific terms? Or better, does it really matter? The question I raise is whether the scientific approach could add some value to creative thinking.
In the common sense, the view of creativity as a mysterious phenomenon still exists. The artistic inspiration (a taste of the Divine) continues to remain a ruling opinion in looking at creativity.
And the attempt to understand this inspiration seems to destroy the magic creative act. This view persists notwithstanding the decades of scientific research on the process and components of creative thinking, that should have definitively destroyed by dint of data the vision of creativity as a gift for few.