Der Wissenschaftler: Poet und Buchhalter?

26. Juni 2013 von Laborjournal

Edward O. Wilson, nicht ganz unbekannter Harvard-Zoologe und Altmeister der Soziobiologie, erklärte unlängst in einem NPR-Interview den „idealen Wissenschaftler“ folgendermaßen:

[…] the ideal scientist thinks like a poet and works like a bookkeeper.

It’s the poet, the poetic aspects of science, that seldom get talked about. But I’ve always felt that scientists fantasize and dream and bring up metaphor and fantastic images as much as any poet, as anyone in the creative sciences — art, the creative arts.

And the difference is that at some point, the scientist has to relate the dreams to the real world, and that’s when you enter the bookkeeper’s period. Unfortunately, it’s the bookkeeper period which leads sometimes to months or years of hard work that too many prospective scientists and students interested in science see, rather than the creative period.

In meiner Doktorarbeit ließ sich die „poetische Phase“ auf ein paar wenige Tage runterbrechen. Diesen Beitrag weiterlesen »

Wenn Forscher die Muse küsst

9. Dezember 2012 von Laborjournal

Ungewöhnliche Abbildungen in Forschungsartikeln hatten wir gerade erst als Thema in diesem Blog. Was aber ist mit Poesie in Forschungsblättern? Schon klar, dafür sind sie nicht da. Dennoch aber hat das Oxford Journal Systematic Biology kürzlich damit angefangen — und frisch das folgende Gedicht „The Tree of Life“ von David R. Maddison, Zoologe an der Oregon State University in Corvallis, veröffentlicht:

The Tree of Life

I think that I shall never see
A thing so awesome as the Tree
That links us all in paths of genes
Down into depths of time unseen;

Whose many branches spreading wide
House wondrous creatures of the tide,
Ocean deep and mountain tall,
Darkened cave and waterfall.

Among the branches we may find
Creatures there of every kind,
From microbe small to redwood vast,
From fungus slow to cheetah fast.

As glaciers move, strikes asteroid
A branch may vanish in the void:
At Permian’s end and Tertiary’s door,
The Tree was shaken to its core.

The leaves that fall are trapped in time
Beneath cold sheets of sand and lime;
But new leaves sprout as mountains rise,
Breathing life anew ‘neath future skies.

On one branch the leaves burst forth:
A jointed limb of firework growth.
With inordinate fondness for splitting lines,
Armored beetles formed myriad kinds.

Wandering there among the leaves,
In awe of variants Time conceived,
We ponder the shape of branching fates,
And elusive origins of their traits.

Three billion years the Tree has grown
From replicators’ first seed sown
To branches rich with progeny:
The wonder of phylogeny.

Wenn David Madison nicht dichtet, koordiniert er unter anderem das weltweite Tree Of Life web project.

Aber abgesehen davon: Gibt es noch mehr Beispiele für Poesie in Forschungsblättern? Und wie geht es inzwischen eigentlich P.H. Metrius?