Openness Quotes (5 quotes)
It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
Some ideas are better than others. The machinery for distinguishing them is an essential tool in dealing with the world and especially in dealing with the future. And it is precisely the mix of these two modes of thought [skeptical scrutiny and openness to new ideas] that is central to the success of science.
There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.
Those who know physicists and mountaineers know the traits they have in common: a dream-and-drive spirit, a bulldog tenacity of purpose, and an openness to try any route to the summit.
Too much openness and you accept every notion, idea, and hypothesiswhich is tantamount to knowing nothing. Too much skepticismespecially rejection of new ideas before they are adequately testedand you're not only unpleasantly grumpy, but also closed to the advance of science. A judicious mix is what we need.