Scientist or flower-power-day-dreamer?

The scientist

I have been surrounded by scientists my entire adult life…..maybe that is why I became one. First I had my mentors and supervisors during my bachelors and then my master programs. I also worked as a researcher. During my student years, I perceived scientists as people who knew everything there is to know about their field. I thought great and innovative ideas just come to them without special effort. After I finished my PhD, I came to understand that even for expert scientists, the learning process is forever ongoing. You can never say you know everything about a subject.

The revelation

During my PhD I developed ways to regenerate and repair of liver tissue. I had the task to make cells grow into a liver tissue, onto materials that were supposed to be a “proper environment” for life. The complexity of the human body and of life in general amazed me. I saw the beauty and perfection of life.

Now it seems funny to me that we are trying to logically reduce natural phenomena in what we consider their parts. All the advance in technology, and we still can’t completely reproduce or even completely understand what life or nature does so naturally. I had a thought that something was missing, that maybe there are more elements than technology to be considered in science.

The journey

So then my journey began…contemplating and reading scientific articles from different subjects (e.g. biology, psychology, quantum physics) than my own (i.e. engineering). It is relatively recent that science started to consider the theory of everything, this all-encompassing idea that everything is linked with everything in the Universe. Researchers are looking at this idea from different angles, such as modern physics, life sciences like biology and, of course psychology and philosophy.

I was glad to see that a lot of research has already been done on the numerous benefits of meditation. Science now backs up practices such as meditation for stress relief. I started meditation and the study old eastern philosophies like Feng Shui, Yoga, etc. about seven year ago. This made me, in the eyes of some of my friends and colleagues, somewhat of a flower-power girl. I assumed this role quickly and proudly.

If it makes you happy, why not?

I discovered that a lot of people have a certain idea about how a scientist should be or how one should think. This mentality dictates that if you are a scientist or just a rational human being, you cannot believe in anything other than what it is considered logical (by some people). It is bad for your reputation otherwise :).

“Logic will get you from A to B”, but imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein

Dare to dream and dream big! A few hundred years ago dreamers would have been burn alive 🙂 We are not living in those times anymore.

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” said Albert Einstein. I agree fully with this statement. It is at the basis of the world’s great discoveries.

At first I was really conflicted: But what kind of scientist am I, if I believe in meditation, inner peace and that everything is Energy? The answer was simple: A happy one :)!

Who says one cannot be both a scientist and a flower-power-day-dreamer?

I can be whatever I want to be. And so can anyone who dares to dream!


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