- For Teachers
TOPIC: ISSUE4 - "No field of study can advance significantly unless outsiders bring their knowledge and experience to that field of study."
WORDS: 604 TIME: 0:59:53 DATE: 9.1.2006
Some one, the speaker included, thinks that to advance sharply a field of study, outsider must bring their knowledge to the field of study. In my humble opinion, I would like to agree with this statement insofar as many field of study is not an isolate system which develops without any association from outsider. But I'm sorry I might hold some negative opinion against the speaker, because it need not the only, even not the correct, way to develop our study.
Admittedly, the knowledge of outsiders is very useful in the study on many subjects. To advance significantly, a field of study has two ways to be chosen: One is deep, another is width. Here, the outsiders' experience affects the study by the latter way. It would make, as we know, a subject's study aero wider to put some concepts and methods of other field of study into this field.
To illustrate this point clearly, we cites some fact as instance. For example, the new subject biochemistry, biophysics is the very results of two traditional subjects bring the knowledge and experience to each other. And then, make a significant development in biology, chemistry and physics, even make many Nobel Prize winner in these field of study. According to a recent report on our university's website, the scientist in cross-subject win the over 60% Nobel Prize in the recent 20 years.
All these facts means, the outsiders' knowledge and experience, at some time, is helpful for some field of study to advance rapidly. So the speaker's recommendation about the outsiders' knowledge and experience is reasonable in this meaning.
However, that is necessary effective on all fields of study. The speaker claims, too hastily and extremely, that no field of study could be developed by itself.
First, the speaker overlooks the time restriction to draw his conclusion. As we know, the Newton developed mathematics by calculus without any other field of study, and the Galileo, who born even earlier than Newton, against some Aristotle's physics principles and made the physics run on the experiment way. Both examples tells us that all subject, at least the physics and mathematics, advanced sharply only under the study on itself in the post.
Second, the speaker ignores that some subjects hardly advance by the information of other field. An obvious example is mathematics. We have only heart that some subjects use the results of mathematics to explain the phenomenon in its field, but never receive any report that mathematician use knowledge of other subject such as biology and chemistry to develop mathematics. Other similar subjects include literature, philosophy.
In short, the issue about whether the use of outsiders' knowledge and experience need be brought to a field of study should be considered case-by-case.
Furthermore, the outsiders' knowledge and experience is not the only, also not the best, alternative for researchers to advance their subjects. Other such alternatives included the knowledge of the subjects it self’s accumulation, the good environment of society and economy around the researcher during the study and the gifted scientist birth. In a word, to develop a field of study, we have so many alternatives and possibility that need not limit our sight at the outsiders.
To sum up, the outsiders' knowledge and experience is certainly useful in some field of study. Yet the narrow choice to rely the advance only on the outsiders is unjustifiable. Maybe we should consider more factors including environment conditions and time background before we decide to seek help from other subjects. Finally, we can also develop our research by some other ways, which might be better than the speaker's choice.