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Open-mindedness is important to the culture of science

Key ideas

  • Open-mindedness allows for creative insights (beyond what is already known) and enables productive collaboration with other scientists.
  • Open-mindedness is the ability to suspend judgment. Open-mindedness helps scientists to observe what is happening and the patterns that emerge, even when these may differ from their predictions.

Teacher reflection

  • Why is it important for scientists to be open-minded?
  • What role does open-mindedness play in scientific investigation?
  • If scientists didn’t keep an open mind, what might the risks be?
  • Can open-mindedness co-exist with critical thinking? Why or why not?