Mankind has pushed itself into the modern age with the help of countless scientists who lived on the ‘cutting edge’ of research. It is not uncommon for companies to even promote new products that are on the cutting edge. Realizing that scientific advancements and breakthroughs are touted as being made at the so called ‘ scientific edge’ what does this mean to someone on a personal level? The term cutting edge usually infers that the technology is new but I think the term progress is better suited. Imagine you are standing on a box and all of the knowledge that you possess is inside this box. In order to grow and learn, you have to leap into the unknown from the position of what I know and venture off that edge. The moment a person takes that leap, new knowledge and growth can occur, being a scientific discovery or achievement of a personal milestone.
To answer scientific questions, a scientist follows the logic of testing a hypothesis and reworking the model until the hypothesis can rationally explain the result. In order to find a solution this process demands that the scientist constantly jump off the platform edge of what is known. This process can also benefit our lives on a personal level. Personal growth can only be achieved you are at the edge of your comfort zone. How will you ever learn to do anything new if you never try it? No matter where we are in life, we all strive to answer questions such as: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Although the questions are simple, the answers can become muddled and not easily ascertained. I believe to seek those answers you must push yourself to edge of your comfort zone. Meaning, if you want to learn and find yourself, you should learn to become comfortable when you are uncomfortable. When you fully develop the ability to constantly grow you will discover that you can overcome many life’s obstacles. After all, once a child learns how to ride a bicycle, how many then prefer to continually ride a tricycle? I am willing to guess none. So keep pushing yourself to find your scientific edge and keep growing.
Dr. Blog holds a PhD in chemistry and draws on his years of industrial and life experience to offer honest career advice for the advancement of young scientists.