How many times have we heard the phrase: “we are just doing fundamental research…” when asking (read “challenged”) a fellow researcher about their source of funding or, even responded, ourselves, when we were “asked” about the same thing? How many times have we asked ourselves who is paying us to do what we do, what will our research be used for? (I suspect, based on the pat response when I ask my colleagues, it’s another inconvenient truth.)
Reading Parker Palmer’s article reminded me of the two TED talks by Barry Schwartz on Practical Wisdom (see this for more stories about using or not using our practical wisdom). What we need are professionals who go beyond the procedures, individuals who bend the rules to do the right thing or allow others to do so.