"Discipline related", Researchable" en " Transferable". Er zijn 6 opleiders uitgenodigd om een voorstel te doen voor een leerprogramma aan 350 promovendi, startend in 2015. Uit eerste gesprekken met de TU komt de oorsprong van de wens voor deze aanvullende opleiding naar voren. In deze blog omschrijf ik een korte inleiding voor de opleiding, waarbij ik deze oorsprong probeer te "vangen".
Het is daarbij mijn hoop dat met de metafoor "The blind elephant" en humor deelnemers zich makkelijker kunnen identificeren met de aanleiding: Tekortkomingen, die je hebt als wetenschapper.
Het gebruik van humor werkt vaak drempelverlagend en een juiste metafoor prikkelt.
The mouse and the elephant walked across a wooden bridge, when the mouse said:
"Wow, we can really stamp our feet, can't we!?"
Although, of course, we assume that a mouse can talk to an elephant. It is a little joke based on a paradigm shift. Because you know what characteristics belong to the elephant (big and heavy) and what characteristics belong to the mouse (small and light) you might find it funny that the mouse says that they "stamp their feet". Still the mouse is right.
For sure you will agree, that a mouse can stamp his feet. And it is not because of a wooden bridge or a bridge at all. Okay, we could disagree about what "stamping feet" means. But the mouse didn't say that they made noise, did he ?
Let's take a closer look. As a scientist you could wonder why they cross the river and what the relationship is between the mouse and the elephant. And in fact that would be a good question. I will explain later.
The answer is: the elephant is blind. The mouse leads the elephant to a pool of mud just across the river and in return the elephant protects the mouse just by being a Big Blind Elephant.
One thing is sure: without the blind elephant we would not see or hear the mouse stamping across the bridge.
So what is the point I'd like to make. Let's put it in a different way. Let's say that you are crossing a bridge. Promoting to get you a Ph.D. You were always the best of the class, I agree. But I must disappoint you. You are not the elephant. We cannot hear you. And what is more unsatisfactory for a scientist, than not being able to share his knowledge?
Wouldn't you agree that there would be no science without the possibility of reproduction. The knowledge we have is an accumulation of discoveries we've shared. We explore and share.
So the point is that if you get the knowledge while exploring, but not the stage, you are in fact the mouse.
Exploring the deepest of the smallest detail is a contest of patience. It's focus, you will find, narrows your sight. You are almost at the top of the mountain, which is...a small piece of a greater whole. If you could accept that idea, you might be able to acknowledge the neglection of your blind elephant, or at most you didn't notice your own splendour. Your elephant is near you. He has always been inside you. But there are steps you need to take to find him. Among those steps is the need to find the relationship between you and your Blind Elephant and a reason to team up with him.
- The essence of science lies in the ability to share your inventions.
- You have an obligation to science to find your Blind Elephant.
- A relation between entities needs a mutual profit.
- Knowledge needs a stage
- We have our own Blind Elephant inside us