Thursday, January 05, 2012

Worth thinking about

While out and about the other day, I met a young Canadian geophysicist named Cameron Coatsworth. In this course of our brief conversation, I mentioned that I had studied philosophy in college and maintained an interest in the subject. Cameron then remarked -- since I had also mentioned that I was reading a couple a books about quantum physics -- that "if you studied philosophy, you're practically a quantum physicist." I wrote down what he said, but the next day couldn't quite read one of the words I had scribbled, so I dropped him a line. He wrote back and elaborated: "The basic idea I was trying to get across was to be a quantum physicist you have to be able to think both like a scientist and a philosopher. That's why so many great minds throughout history have been both."
I can't help wondering if Cameron is not representative of a new generation of scientists who are not taken up with the science-philosophy-religion turf wars. Cameron certainly struck me as unusually smart.

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