Monday, November 5, 2012

The Importance of Imagination

There are many examples of great thinkers experiencing a flash of inspiration or a 'eureka' moment. Some put their insight down to particular or different ways of visualising things. This, by definition, is imagination, or 'the ability to form new images and sensations that are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses'.

One nice story of imagination playing a role in scientific discovery is the account of the dreams of German chemist August Kekulé. It was the vivid images of his dreams that allowed him to visualise the structures of organic molecules (most famously as a snake eating its own tail).

The Reveries of Kekule

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