The importance of perspective in science cannot be understated and yet often is. From the outside, science can seem like a common noun, a smooth and untextured monolith containing the Truth.
But science is a method and not a body of knowledge, and it is practiced by fallible humans. They bring their individual upbringings and passions to their work, with each perspective expanding on the next. In that sense, science and scientists can be as complex as the nature that is their subject. It lifts us out of ignorance and gains a unique power against bias precisely because of its effort to shed light on the biases of its practitioners.
The month begins with a story titled “Autistic Prodigies Since Rain Man,” in which science writer Ann Hulbert introduces us to Darold A. Treffert, a soft-spoken Wisconsin psychiatrist in his 80s called the “godfather of savant research.” He banished the idiot prefix and challenged us to wrestle with what those different from ourselves teach us about the nature of intelligence itself.
Welcome to “Perspective.”
Lead photo collage credits: Vitaliy Mateha / Shutterstock; Pixabay