Monday, June 13, 2011

Aspergers: Thinking outside the box

One of the annoying buzzwords/phrases thrown around in the workplace is "thinking outside the box". The best definition I can tell you is that this is supposed to spur on some sort of creative solution. Often though I think it is said by someone who wants to do their managing by cliche and catchphrases than by actual work.

In any case though one of the best examples for thinking outside the box I have used with employees is the Doubt Helix by James Watson. You get a rare look into how two scientists along with Rosalind Franklin were able to use new techniques to leap ahead of the better funded efforts into discovering the structure of DNA. By adopting these new methods three unheralded scientists beat out Linus Pauling at CalTech, among others, to one of science's biggest prizes of the past century.

While there are some ethical discussions of Crick & Watson's use of Rosalind Franklin's work (see Rosalind Franklin and DNA and the Wikipedia article on Rosalind Franklin) there is no doubt that they were able to think outside the box.

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

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