Think Like A Scientist
I used to hate science.
I’m not saying this because I’m stubborn and most of my high school science classes bored me to death, although these tidbits definitely didn’t help.
You see, before my dad retired, he was a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (I know, it’s a mouthful) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and over one long, fateful summer, I worked in his research lab.
It was here that my fledgling love for science died a slow, agonizing death.
During this sluggish summer, I spent countless hours cleaning pipettes, running test tubes through the centrifuge, and hoarding dry ice to conduct my own “experiments” with friends.
As mind-numbing as it was, I did happen to walk away with one invaluable piece of life experience.
Most of us vaguely remember stumbling across the scientific method in middle school science class as we futzed around with pea plants.
You remember that step-by-step process, right? We were expected to raise a question/make an observation, research the topic, establish a hypothesis, test it with an experiment, analyze the data, and then finally report our conclusion.
Well, it’s one thing to memorize it in class, but it was in my dad’s lab I saw it in practice out in the real world and unfortunately, it’s far more boring.
When I quit working for my dad, something funny happened.
I actually started using the scientific method.
I decided to rebel, majored in graphic design, and upon graduating, dove head-first into freelancing full-time. This was also when I started posting my work online. Thanks to my scientific foundation, it was much easier to form an opinion, put my work out into the world, and then pay attention to how people reacted.
In other words, I essentially swagger-jacked the scientific method and used it for my own purposes.
Now, whenever I’m considering a new project (regardless of the format), I always start by creating a hypothesis.