Unconventional Thinking and the Progress of Science

Progress in science occurs not through the collective recapitulation of knowledge, but through those rare minds that, often in the face of persecution, ridicule, heresy, and academic ostracism, challenge established paradigms. Using the framework presented by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this course will examine case studies of genius, evaluating the cultural forces that nurtured and stifled creativity.

Jay Silverstein:

Jay Silverstein completed a Ph.D. in anthropology at Pennsylvania State University (USA), where he researched the frontier of the Aztec and Tarascan Empires in Mexico. He followed this project with a study of the earthworks of the ancient Mayan citadel of Tikal, Guatemala. Since 2009, Dr. Silverstein has directed an archaeological study of the Greco-Roman city of Thmuis in Egypt's Nile Delta. He also worked with the US government searching for the remains of missing soldiers from past wars. Working globally as a researcher, he has led archaeological projects in Central America, North and South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, Europe, and other regions. His teaching institutions include universities in America and Europe. Since arriving at the SAS in Fall 2019, he has been developing a critique of Neo-Darwinian theory. These diverse research areas complement his methodological interests in VR learning, multisensory perceptions, and geographic information system mapping (GIS).