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Episode 24 — Is Unconditionality Achievable?

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About this episode

“It depends.” How many of your positions in your work and your life are dependent on something else? And what is that “something else” based on? At some point, you have to get to the bottom of things. In this episode we will discuss learning how to wield unconditionality as an indispensable step in learning the fundamentals of discovery.

Hosted by Bitesize Bio’s own Dr. Nick Oswald featuring Kenneth Vogt of Vera Claritas.

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This is an automated transcript and may not be 100% accurate.

Outro (00:08):
This is The Happy Scientist podcast. Each episode is designed to make you more focused, more productive, and more satisfied in the lab. You can find us online at Bitesizebio.com/thehappyscientist. Your hosts are Kenneth Vogt, founder of the executive coaching firm, Vera Claritas, and Dr. Nick Oswald, PhD by a scientist and founder Bitesize Bio.

Nick Oswald (00:39):
Hello and welcome to The Happy Scientist podcast from Bitesize Bio. If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist, you’re in the right place. I’m Nick Oswald the founder of Bitesizebio.com. And with me is the driving force of this podcast, Mr. Kenneth Vogt, I’ve worked with Ken for over seven years now with him as my business mentor and colleague, and I knew that his expertise could help a lot of researchers. So in these sessions, we will hear mostly from Ken on principles that will help shape you for a happier and more successful career. And along the way, I’ll pitch him with points from my personal experience as a scientist, and from working with Ken today, we will be discussing the question is unconditionality achievable. Okay, Ken, what does that even mean?

Kenneth Vogt (01:25):
Now? I know from our earlier discussions and giving this some thought myself, this is our 25th episode, and y’all may be thinking like Nick, that, wow, Ken is finally gone around the bend. What does this have to do with the happy scientist? I promise you, I’m going to bring it around to that very thing and how this impacts you as a scientist. And I, I will grant you that this maybe a little more about the happy part than the scientist part, but it is, it is definitely scientific and it matters. Now I know you’ve probably heard the word unconditionality before things being unconditional and what most people associate that with is unconditional love. That’s a that’s a phrase we’ve all heard and it’s a concept that we probably all have some, some inkling about. And, and you’re thinking, okay, love unconditional love. I’ve got no particular use for that in the lab.

Kenneth Vogt (02:23):
Not anti love. I’m not anti unconditional love, but I don’t think that’s going to help me if my job well, give me a chance and I will, I will lay out for you how this works. So before we talk about conditionality, though, I’m going to talk about this idea of beliefs. You know, we, in the scientific world, that’s almost an insult because you I’m sure you’ve all heard people say things like, Oh, you believe in science. It’s like, no, I don’t believe in science. Science is what you do when you’re trying not to believe in something. You’re just looking at the facts. But the, but the truth is we even have beliefs about facts, but which facts are most important to us, which facts are most relevant. And it just to give a, a brief definition for belief, then it’s trust faith or confidence in someone or something.

Kenneth Vogt (03:25):
Now in a lab, having confidence in your, in, in your data, in your procedure, in your colleagues. Obviously that’s, that’s really, really important. Faith seems to take it out of a notch trust and again, you know, trusting those things is good too. So the point is, is that yes, you actually can believe in things that have to do with the facts that are involved in what you do now. Of course, there’s a whole lot of other areas in life where people have beliefs. You know, they have beliefs, you know, typically we think of religion, politics, relationships, social standards, but you also have beliefs about facts. And here’s the thing about these beliefs. Most of these beliefs are conditional on something. There are some, some kind of modifiers for these things that, that you always have in place. And what would happen if you didn’t have to have conditions?

Kenneth Vogt (04:32):
What, what if there was something you could have absolute confidence in? What if in the lab you could have absolute confidence in your results, absolute confidence in your data, absolute confidence in your protocols, absolute confidence in the people you work with, or work for absolute confidence of the people who you are benefiting by the work you’re doing. You know, that that would really change your experience of it. Doubt creates a lot of anxiety for people. So this idea of, of taking charge of conditions is actually quite valuable to make you a happy scientist. So think of conditions this way, conditions are limiters conditions, our adjectives, you know, when you say car, do you have a picture in your mind when I say red car to you though, now I’ve modified that, that car I’ve, I’ve made it I’ve limited something about that car. It has to be red.

Kenneth Vogt (05:39):
Well, it’s the same thing that we do with beliefs, the conditions that we put on our beliefs well modified and they’ll restrict it. And we’re talking about believing in certain facts, now you’re restricting those facts. In other words, you might restrict, when can I, when can I appropriately use this fact, when can I actually say this? And in science and Nick, I think you’ll agree with me here that this has been a big deal. There are some facts it’s almost impossible to even speak about because of all the conditions that people put on them and their unpopular facts that it’s harder to bring scientific rigor to because of their unpopularity. So I’ll give you a little chance to jump in there, Nick, on that kind of thing. Have you noticed that impact on some facts are hard to actually make proper use of even though you’ve done good work?

Nick Oswald (06:40):
Hmm. That’s an interesting, that’s an interesting one. I’m trying to think.

Kenneth Vogt (06:48):
Well, I’m thinking of a couple of examples, you know, like, well just protocol for how should we deal with COVID right now? And, you know, there was just the, the Great Barrington report that came out where some very esteemed scientists said, we have got to focus on herd immunity. And then another group came out of equally esteemed scientists that said we have got to not use herd immunity. And I, and I heard a really fascinating interview the other day with, with a scientist representing each of those positions. And considering there have just been presidential debates in the United States. I would’ve thought oh boy here comes to the debate, but it wasn’t a debate because these men were both serious scientists. And so they both listened to each other and they both brought up well, here’s, here’s a weakness that I’m concerned with about your hypothesis.

Kenneth Vogt (07:40):
And then the other person would say, yes, I see that weakness too. And here’s the, here’s the remedy for that? I believe. And it was a great discussion. It was a 15 minute discussion, which, you know which is as much as the public could take. I’m sure they’ve had hours and hours of discussions over these things, but what’s going on with all that, is that because there are conditions on the facts you can speak. This is just for some folks, if you say herd immunity, Oh, that’s it. They stopped listening. They’re done some folks who say vaccines, Oh, they’re done. You know, we have to be able to speak. We have to be able to talk about that.

Nick Oswald (08:18):
It is interesting that particular scenario in that, you know, sciences are all about being objective and you know you know, being a rational about the facts that were in front of you, but here are two sets of equally eminent scientists who look at the same facts and come up with a completely different different conclusion on the way forward. So that, that was by definition mean there’s some belief in there, or at least some perspective,

Kenneth Vogt (08:51):
Well, yes, there there is. And you know, it’s, so the, the question will, is still rings out there. Is it possible to get rid of this conditionality? So one of the things that I noticed in that conversation that I thought was quite interesting is there, they each said our soundbite

Kenneth Vogt (09:14):
Proposal has, has some rules to it. You can’t just say, we’ve got to go for her to immunity. Is that what we’re going to go for her to immunity? We have to do this and this and this and this, or it won’t work. And if we’re going to not go for her to immunity, and we’re going to put all our hopes in vaccines, well, let me have to do this and this and this and this, you know, so that there were conditions for, for both of their protocols. So I’m not talking about removing the conditions there, but if we could remove the conditions about having the conversation, if we didn’t demonize any particular point of fact, if the fact that didn’t have to have a condition, now we can actually have a conversation. And we’ve seen the difference between people talking about scientific things, but with political agendas and people who are just having a scientific conversation, you know, that, that, that’s just one that just rings out in the road.

Kenneth Vogt (10:15):
I mean, there are certainly others that have been examples but this one’s so appropriate for the, for the scientists we’re talking to. And, and it’s so current. And so we can look this and say, okay, where, where is it appropriate to have conditions, but where would things be so much better if we got rid of these conditions, if we can make it unconditional, if I could just say a true fact and not have anybody fight me about it because of what the translated to me and, you know, that’s, that’s where this, where these conditions come from, they come from when we start assigning. Meaning if you just see a fact as a fact, you know, two plus two equals four, okay. That’s, that’s just the fact there’s really nothing to argue about there until somebody starts to say, yeah, but what really is a to, you know, and then off we go

Kenneth Vogt (11:16):
To the racists, what does equal really mean?

Kenneth Vogt (11:18):
You know, that’s where we get caught in the weeds. So we have the opportunity there to set some things as axioms and accept some things as theorems that, that, you know, we’re going to agree that we can trust this, that we’re all going to be on board with that. And that way you have the opportunity of simplifying things, conversations get so much clear protocols become so much easier to establish because we’re not guessing about certain things. So the question that I have for you scientists is how many things in your world could you look at and say, you know what we can, we can say, this is certain, this is the thing we will count on. And I think you already do that with many things, but it’s possible. You could do it with more. And, and it’s also possible that you need to reassess some things, maybe, you know, that’s, that’s one of the beauties of science.

Kenneth Vogt (12:21):
When you realize that something, isn’t what you thought it was. You can change your position. That’s hard for us, regular humans, social humans have a real hard time with that. We don’t like to have to change our positions, but you haven’t built in as a scientist that you can do that. And it’s, and it’s safe for you to do that. If I change my position on something is just a regular show. I’m a flip flopper. But if you realize, Hey, I’ve got new data and it tells us the first conclusion we drew is not correct. So we’re going to draw a new conclusion. You know, now you’re freeing yourself of some conditions that appropriately should you should be removed. Is this all making sense, Nick?

Nick Oswald (13:10):
I have to admit, I’m finding it difficult to grapple with this one.

Kenneth Vogt (13:15):
Okay. So, so, so let me ask you where, where are the difficulties

Nick Oswald (13:19):
I I’m finding it difficult to see where you think the where do you see scientists are being conditional and weird where they should lose that conditionality for better results?

Kenneth Vogt (13:29):
Well, and in the example, I brought up the, the folks that’s became signatories to the Great Barrington report. They’re taking a risk. They, they may be impacting their careers by taking that position. And, you know, I, I will grant you that, hopefully that’s not, it’s not coming to that for many things, but even if there’s lesser cost, it is socially speaking. And I mean, socially among your group of fellow scientists or the, the, your funders for your grants, or, you know, if, if you can be true to the, to the facts and you can and re, and you can stand aside from those conditions, you’ll be freer to do better research. You’re going to get, if you feel like, well, I just, I just can’t investigate in this direction because it’s gonna make people mad. Well, that’s going to restrict what you can do. It’s going to restrict what, how you can succeed. And, and we really need people, people in science to succeed, we need them, we need them to not be shackled in, you know, inadvertently or, or in appropriately. Does that clarify anything?

Nick Oswald (14:45):
Yeah. I’m just trying to figure out where the problem, you know, whether this is a big problem or not, I’m not sure. So that needs to be solved. So you’re talking about people limiting or scientists, specifically limiting what they’re prepared to consider as a possible outcome based on, for example whether a particular result would be acceptable socially, or whether a particular opinion to be acceptable socially or beneficial for careers or something like that. Is that what you mean?

Kenneth Vogt (15:25):
That’s that is the, the worst case scenario stuff and that stuff up. Yeah. That stuff exists, but there’s actually even more farther down the chain. So for instance, if you have something that would be socially unacceptable to the masses, it might not necessarily be socially unacceptable in scientific circles, but, and there are other things that might be socially unacceptable among your peers. Whereas the rest of us wouldn’t even notice, but, but that’s still enough to restrict you.

Nick Oswald (16:02):
You’re still talking about the jump from when you get a result to what that means, or the conclusion that you draw from that, and that being influenced by conditions that you hold for yourself,

Kenneth Vogt (16:14):
Right? So it could that conditions, you hold may influence what you, what you see in results, but it may influence you even getting results because there’s some places you won’t even go because of those conditions.

Nick Oswald (16:27):
And so the unconditionality in that circumstance would be or not even just in that circumstance, that, that the unconditional conditionality that would be required, but as what’s inherently required in science, anyway, whether we can perform it perfectly or not as to unconditionally explore what, what your, you know, the question that’s in front of you unconditionally accept the result, as long as you think that, you know, whatever it is, even if it’s not what you expected, as long as you can show controls and stuff that, that show you that the measurement is not incorrect or whatever. Right. And, and not be puffed by your own beliefs. Is that okay?

Kenneth Vogt (17:08):
Exactly. And now I realize this is a continuum with unconditionality being the goal of absolute perfection, you know, that, but the, it, isn’t just a, an a binary thing that either your conditional or you’re unconditional the degree to which you’re conditional can have a great impact. So if you can remove as many conditions as is possible from your process and from your conclusions, you’re going to be a better scientist. And if you’re a better scientist, you’re going to be a happier scientist. Now I realize for it’s a tall order,

Nick Oswald (17:50):
Because I’m not saying that it can’t be done because people do it. And probably everyone does it to varying degrees, but this to be in degrees. But what you’re really fighting against as a scientist is as your own human nature, which is to be biased and and, and to seek approval and to, yeah. Yeah. And to be part of the group and so on. And, but what you have to do as a scientist is to kind of give all of that up to objectivity,

Kenneth Vogt (18:27):
Right. And what I’m presenting to you right now, is it, I’m not saying, okay, you’ve been doing it all wrong, your whole career, your whole life, and you just need to make this radical change, like Nope. But what I’m doing here today is opening up you up to an idea that you may be placing conditions on things you haven’t even noticed you’ve done, and it’s coming at a cost to you that you don’t even know you’re paying. So this is going to give you the opportunity to just examine some things just to, just to have that in your head. Like, have I placed any conditions on this or, or another question is what conditions have I placed on this? You know, I didn’t think I had any, but let me, let me ponder that. And you’re going to start to find some of those things.

Kenneth Vogt (19:15):
Now you may wonder, like, why would I do that? Why would I understand what the scientific method supposed to be about? I, why would I put all these conditions on there? And here’s why reason requires conditions. We love conditions. And as scientists, you know, you definitely want to be men and women of reason that that’s, that’s you know, considered a, a higher order of thinking in the world. But here’s the problem. Think about anytime you have a reason to do something what’s in charge. Well, the reason is in charge when somebody asks you, why did you do X and your answers? I did X because Y now did you actually make a choice here? It’s like, no, you, your reason decided the re the, the reasons you have are in charge and those reasons are the conditions you’ve put on it. So I think for some folks here that they haven’t been in charge of their decision-making can be really shocking and, and upsetting and something they will not stand for.

Kenneth Vogt (20:35):
So just to have this notion to consider, have I been letting the reasons path me, and, and we’ve discussed this before in episode 15, we, the, the difference between choosing and deciding. And so we’ll in the show notes, we’ll have a link to that. So you can go check it out again, if that’s, when you haven’t heard, or it’s not fresh in your mind. But the point is, is that reasons are your conditions and conditions are your reasons. And they are in charge. The more conditions you have, the less charge you have now, I realize there are situations where there are conditions that they existed. You can’t do anything about them. You know, you get a grant and it has restrictions in it. It says, you have to do this, and you can’t do that. And while that’s how it is, you know that, so I’m not talking about those kinds of conditions that you can’t control.

Kenneth Vogt (21:27):
I’m talking about the conditions that you are actually choosing for yourself, and that you are, in some cases abdicating to your you’re, you’re using them as the excuse. Well, I, I had to do this, or I couldn’t do that because, because the reason why, you know, and now reasonably, why is everything and reason why has taken your power away from you? So here you are, having worked very, very hard to become a reasonable human being. And I mean, it’s took you years and years of schooling and, and practice and testing. And I mean, you really worked at this, and it was an improvement for you. You became a better person. You are no longer just a child that was moved by emotional reaction or selfish interest, how you’re letting reason take charge. And that sounds great. And now here I am suggesting that maybe reason has had too much charge.

Kenneth Vogt (22:30):
And so you might be thinking, well, I’m not what, what happens after reasons? Well, for many folks, their fear is that will happen is will I go back to being that emotional, childish individual? And, and I don’t allow reason to, to display its full power. Well, that’s not the case. What happens after reason is that things don’t require conditions and you might be thinking, well, how does that happen in the world? Well, I’m going to give you a couple examples from hard scientific examples of things that aren’t based on condition. So think about this. We, we tend to see things as there’s this, and then there’s it’s opposite. And we have plenty of those things. And in our experience in the world, in our observation, but there are some things where there is no opposite. It just is, or it is not. And the scientific world, two things that come to mind that are very straightforward, are heat and light.

Kenneth Vogt (23:41):
And we say, Oh, wait a minute, Ken, that’s not right. The opposite of heat is cold. The opposite of light is dark. There is an opposite. No, there’s not. You measure heat. We don’t measure cold. Cold is merely an absence of heat. You measure light, don’t measure dark. It’s just merely an absence of light. So there’s, there’s no conditionality there at all. Is you you’re, you’re just on that, you’re on that scale, whether it’s Kelvin or Celsius or Fahrenheit, the temperature is somewhere there, there isn’t a, there isn’t an anti temperature there. You know, when you, when you say something is a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, there isn’t something that is opposite. That it’s just, it just is, it doesn’t need any condition. It’s just what it is. So as you ponder that, you may realize, no, there’s a lot of things that I’ve been assuming that there is an opposite to when it really isn’t an opposite.

Kenneth Vogt (24:54):
It’s just, it’s either it’s there, or it’s not there. And the conditions conditions get created out of that misunderstanding. So imagine the misunderstandings you would have, if you, if you created the condition of darkness, that darkness has to mean something in your experimentation when it’s actually the level of light. That means something, same thing with temperature. What if you mean coldness means something when it’s actually the level of temperature that matters. There’s plenty of stuff like that. And the fact is even, even scientists may be thinking of darkness and cold as a thing. I realize it’s convenient to think of it that way, but what, what opens up for you when you, when you realize it’s not a thing, how do you see the world? How do you see the scientific world when you more clearly see it without that condition? So I will put that put that to you, Nick rhetorically, but I, I will ask what you think of that as a concept.

Nick Oswald (26:10):
I, I see that your point about not requiring there to be cold in order to be able to study heat. For example, I realized this is really struggling.

Kenneth Vogt (26:23):
Well, okay. That, and you know, you and I, we had, we had a brief conversation beforehand saying, wow, this is this topic’s really, really different than some of the things we’ve talked about before, but I’m, I’m want to challenge everybody. I’m not going to do this to you every time we have this episode, you know, but I really want you to, to think about this, what would happen if you, if you looked at things differently, isn’t that where discovery really gets interesting. Isn’t that how, how people, how scientists has stumbled across things, you know, for as long as there’s been science.

Nick Oswald (27:00):
So are you saying that what you think you know is what gets in the way of discovery? Thats one way to look at this

Kenneth Vogt (27:09):
Exactly. Yeah, go ahead. Well, I was just going to say there are a whole host of things. Go ahead, Nick,

Nick Oswald (27:15):
For example, if you’re, if you were studying molecular biology and you discovered something that, that went against the theory of evolution, for example, would you just kind of think, you know, okay, I made a mistake obviously, and just leave it and go in a different direction, or would you explore that? Is it, this is, you know, something, something as fundamental as that you still have to suspend belief to see where it takes you. Is that, is that what you

Kenneth Vogt (27:43):
Exactly cause that’s, that is a fundamental condition you’re placing on what you see.

Nick Oswald (27:49):
Okay. And there are examples of where, where that has happened. Not to that extent, but you know, where, what was the, the accepted wisdom was was challenged. What it was was overturned by, by discovery that would, can only be made. Like, for example, it used to be thought that the, the, the DNA in between genes was just junk DNA didn’t mean anything. And then we discovered that codes for all this stuff that there’s a whole layer of different regulation and so on, but that, that discovery could only be made if people had. But if the people who were doing the research were open-minded enough to consider that might be a possibility.

Kenneth Vogt (28:35):
Sure. Well, and even the impact of, of genes have been know, the original thought was that, well, if you have these genes, that’s, what’s going to happen. And of course we’ve seen, that’s just not true. It’s a creates a possibility. There’s a and it might improve a probability, but it doesn’t guarantee an outcome one way or the other.

Nick Oswald (28:58):
Yeah. Yeah. And so if you get past them to think, yeah, okay. So you are advocating that we become aware of the beliefs, that limit what we’re prepared to see our work and what we’re prepared to consider and explore. And that, by that, the more that we suspend those, then the, the more open we are to, to create a discovery, not necessarily

Kenneth Vogt (29:26):
You’re opening new lines of inquiry

Nick Oswald (29:28):
Yeah. And so the more open you are to greater discovery if its available. Yeah. Okay.

Kenneth Vogt (29:36):
Right. And now here’s another thing to consider about this. This might sound like, well, it’d be nice thing to do, but it’s not necessary. Except there are a whole host of things that can not be considered or examined in conditional terms, because there is no, there is no conditionality on some things that, so you’re going to have to consider them without conditions. And at first blush again, somebody who was just hard, hard hard, committed to reason is going to go, wow, that doesn’t sound right. That I don’t think that’s possible. It’s like, well, you, as a reasonable person know that you don’t know everything. You, as a reasonable person know that you only have a perspective. So you have to consider the possibility that there is something beyond reason. And it’s not anti reason. Again, it’s not about some, some setting up some opposite condition.

Kenneth Vogt (30:36):
It’s something that builds on reason. So you don’t suspend reason. You use it as a platform from which you can build. And the fact is many, many of you are very creative and you’re going to hear all this. And this is going to sound really true to you. You’re going to realize, yep. A lot of my creativity came from when I built on reason, not when I said I don’t care. What’s the reasonable, I don’t care. What’s obvious. No. When you went, all right, assuming that I don’t know everything, but taking your consideration, what I do know what possibilities are available. So I’m not asking you to go crazy here. I’m not asking you to forget that there’s gravity and forget that there’s there’s heat and light, you know? Yes. That stuff’s there, but give yourself a chance to see a little bit more to realize there’s stuff out there that you haven’t yet.

Kenneth Vogt (31:31):
They haven’t yet discovered. Maybe not. And maybe not just you, maybe mankind hasn’t yet discovered, but he could be you that does somebody does every time something new comes along, somebody found it. And of course, then there’s the interesting thing. How once one person finds it, it seems like many people find it often practically, simultaneously. So why wouldn’t you want to be part of that process? Think about the about the satisfaction that would come from that. I mean, that’s, that was the dream. When, when you were a kid and you finally used real thought science, this is really cool. I really liked this. I wanted, you know, I want to be a great scientist. And that’s what you had pictured in your mind that you were going to be this, this Magellan, like explore, and you were going to discover new worlds and, and you were going to change things in the world and for the better, and this, this is the promise of science.

Kenneth Vogt (32:30):
And we talk about being a happy scientist. That word happy seems so simple, but it’s really packed with meaning it’s, it’s talking about that, that true satisfaction that, that, that pride that you have and any positive pride that you really feel like I did something good. And I, and I made a difference and I helped. And, and you realize you’re standing on the shoulders of giants, who also did that. And you, you can see that there’s a chain here. And that’s another thing about science that is truly amazing is that there there’s so much that was learned before. And so much effort has been put forward to pass it on to you so that you have a really firm foundation to stand on. You’re not starting over, you know, everybody is not reinventing the wheel here all the time. So you can, you can go with certain things that are there as a solid platform. The more you can remove the conditions from that platform, the more flexibility, the moral imagination, you can have, the more possibilities then you can create.

Nick Oswald (33:39):
Hmm. I think that was quite interesting to use the word imagination there, because that’s really what you’re allowing in here. And you know, by removing, removing the conditions, if you think of all, you know, technologies and steps forward that have been made, that previously seemed impossible. You know you know, even some of the stuff we take for granted at the moment, you know, internet and so on, it didn’t seem impossible to everyone, but at the same time that the people who suspended belief enough to consider the fact that, although we don’t know how to do it now, then it might be doable if we explore enough. And those are the ones who, who wouldn’t be surprised by this. But then th they’re the only ones who can actually make the discovery. If the, if they, you know, remain unconditional enough to allow the possibility to develop.

Kenneth Vogt (34:35):
So let me point out a couple of things that have happened in my lifetime. And then, you know, as, as we all know, I’m not a biologist, but these are two things that even a non biologist has heard about. And I heard about them before they happened. When they said we may be able to do this. And it sounded like science fiction in, in the most fictional way possible. The first one we’re going to map the human genome like she had, right. It’s done. And it’s not an, and a bunch of other genomes have been mapped. And then somebody came up with CRISPR gene editing. That is just absolutely simple, stupid, perfect.

Kenneth Vogt (35:16):
Again, the science fiction on the most fantastical level, how did anybody ever even come up with that? Because they took away the conditions of saying, Oh, that’s crazy. That’s impossible. We couldn’t, you know, we couldn’t, you know, whether it’s a practical problem, we could never get as much funding as we would need. It would take, it would take hundreds of years to do this, or, or, you know, are, or that’s something that I wish that could be invented, but something that could never be invented when, so, so I, I put this out here that I’m not saying this is the truth, but I want to make this statement. The most valuable discoveries are uncovered in, in the realm without conditions. Now I am all for everybody arguing over that, all they want, but I tell you what, it’s, it’s a plausible position that if we will, if we will set aside conditions, the opportunity for imagination and discovery is limitless. So that was why I want you to consider the possibility that unconditionality can be achieved. It’s already being achieved in certain ways. And certain facets, we all, you individually achieve this occasionally and people, you know, do so. You know, why not you and why not more of you? Why not? Why not? You more, all of it.

Kenneth Vogt (36:48):
So what do you think Nick?

Nick Oswald (36:50):
Interesting, so sort removing the condition. The conditionality allows creativity and, and although scientists are rational and it was driven by reason also has to have, you know, for the truly great parts of science require creativity to see. What’s not, not, you know, to open up possibilities to move into. What’s not, not, it’s not known yet.

Kenneth Vogt (37:19):
Right. And I, and I want to challenge people to think about that phrase that we’ve all heard. Did you just said that science is driven by, by rationality? Yes. Driven by, but not controlled by we, you step outside of those bounds sometimes. So you use it as, as a platform and, And again, that’s a concept I really would like to install with everybody. That reason is a platform now build on it.

Nick Oswald (37:43):
Interesting. All right. Well, that was certainly a bit mind bending for me, Ken, but enjoyable. I think I got there in the end with what you were talking about. And I think it’s, it’s definitely a distinction that is, it’s not only useful to know from the point of of, you know, alone creativity in, but it’s also for me anyway, it was just struck me as that. It’s important for realizing where the, where the reason ends and we’re creative. It begins in science. So that’s really important because when you gather results, you get to a position where, where you can make a reasonable argument, a reasoned argument for something, being a fact you can put that forward as a perspective, and then you would do that. That’d be your results section in your paper. And then you get to the discussion section. And then that’s where it becomes creative. Will you make you lay out the possibility for what that means and what could happen next? You move between reason and creativity. But it’s really important to understand. I see a lot of scientists say stately, a creative position, the discussion as a reason, as a concrete recent fact, and that’s not the case. And so I think it’s really important from, from both sides to realize when when reasoning is important as a scientist and when creativity is important and that you are continually switching between the two,

Kenneth Vogt (39:23):
Right. And not be afraid to say, Hey, I’m not saying this is reasonable. I’m just saying, I’m just pointing it out. Here’s a possibility that we should explore.

Nick Oswald (39:32):
Well, in fact, when you are point pointing out that something is not a reason or a reason based fact, or reason based evidenced evidenced fact, but you’re you’re then going into conjecture. Then you must point that out. Because especially when you’re saying it to the public or in a, in a lease situation, people take your word as a scientist, you know, that, you know that, but you don’t, that’s your, your expert kind of prediction of what will happen next, but still just a prediction or, you know, or what the next step is or, or what this thing actually.

Kenneth Vogt (40:11):
Yeah, that’s an excellent point, especially in the current political environment where experts are being distrusted and unfairly so in so many cases, but you know, don’t fall on, don’t fall on your own sword there, you know, don’t, don’t state things as fact to try and be more assertive when, you know, that’s not what you should be doing right now.

Nick Oswald (40:32):
I think that, yeah, that this is what rods trust in science actually, is that you have scientific fact or scientists, you know, the best scientific knowledge, you know, which is always evolving. And to state what’s in there is, you know, that’s what where a scientist stands in their expertise. But then to move, we’re saying there are some scientists who are overstepping and putting their opinions out as facts. And then that’s where trust in the actual science, you know, the actual reason based science is eroded when people abuse that position too much. So I think this is a really interesting point

Kenneth Vogt (41:09):
As humanity. We need our experts and we need them to be trustworthy and, and we need to trust them, you know? So, I mean, it goes on both sides, so, but please do your part and, and I will continue to encourage the rest of the world to do their part.

Nick Oswald (41:26):
Okay. Well again, thank you very much, Ken, for a really interesting mind blowing mind blowing episode there. Okay. I just want to, before we head off, I want to remind everyone that if they want to hear more of Ken’s pearls of wisdom, you can join us, or you can find all of our episodes, other Bitesizebio.com/thehappyscientist. That’s all one word. And then you can subscribe to us on all of the major podcast platforms or any of them. And you can also join us on Facebook. There’s a Facebook group for this podcast called The Happy Scientist Club, which is the facebook.com/thehappyscientistclub, all one word. And there we talk about, you know, the, the, the content of these podcasts from different perspectives so that you can help you to get to grips with it. Because some of them, as you saw today can take a while to get to grips with and get your head around, but I assure you, all of these topics are well worth spending some time on trying to assimilate them. Because from my own personal experience, I can see that they’re really helps.

Kenneth Vogt (42:39):
Yeah. Feel free to comment there on Facebook. I am happy to have a discussion with anybody there for for everyone else’s benefit to that. We can all engage.

Nick Oswald (42:50):
Yeah. Okay. And remember that in episodes, one to nine of this podcast, we talk about the foundational principles of human needs, core mindsets and charisma factors. And we refer to this in many of these episodes. So those episodes one to nine are the foundational wisdom. If you like. So if you go back and listen to them at some point, probably more than once, ideally you’ll, you’ll get a, you’ll get a good understanding of what my script here says. Life change, these life changing concepts, and they literally are life changing. It’s very good. They’re very good tools to give you different perspectives on how you work and how the world works and how to get better out of both. So again, thank you very much Ken for that. And we’ll call it a wrap there.

Kenneth Vogt (43:41):
All right. Very good.

Outro (43:48):
The Happy Scientist is brought to you by Bitesize Bio, your mentor in the lab. Bitesize Bio features, thousands of articles and webinars contributed by hundreds of PhD, scientists and scientific companies who freely offer their hard, won wisdom and solutions to the Bitesize Bio community.

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