One thing I love about the scientific mindset is its humility. Scientific proposals about the nature of reality are tentative, provisional, and mindful of their limitations. That very humility feeds the wonderful feeling of awe and adventure that accompanies the scientific quest to understand something better. People who are wary of science often stress its role as a source of power and authority – therefore to be resisted by free thinkers everywhere. Some people look askance at scientific insistence on measure and quantity (an insistence that springs from an appreciation of the limitations of human intuition and sense of certainty), which they see as at odds with a more spiritual, philosophical, or poetic experiencing of the world. As if an agronomist couldn't be swept away by a thing of beauty.

As Vladimir Nabokov once observed, “a writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.”