Ecology and Society: Dual thinking for scientists

I was sent a link to a charming Feature in Ecology and Society today called Dual thinking for scientists . It is a quite nice argument for increasing the use of System I ('intuitive' thinking; see Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow for instance) in Science.

I think this makes an excellent point. Without arts and serendipity the sciences will no longer be an exploration of the unknown, but simply a mechanical way of digging out a set of previously marked features.  If most scientists are trained to be efficient but narrowly skilled workers at a knowledge production line, only using System II, then we'd better hope our Society as a whole shows signs of developing a over-arching System-I-like tendencies.

Personally I want a chance of intuition however, and for the activities producing it; The head-cleansing walk across campus on a crisp autumn day. The time to chat to colleagues, not about the pressing project, but about fundamental questions. The blend of life and knowledge.

Actual industrial reality of today's academia however makes such things hard. Modern universities are pyramid games. Dual thinking made by the few or in secret, not as a strategy. I guess the reason being that dual thinking is troublesome to combine with academia's newish role as economic dynamo. But exploration of the unknown is fortunately a human trait. Something we can't help but to do.

So, here's to Dual thinking, and the strategies suggested in the linked Feature.