Is big picture science or little picture science the best strategy to pursue if you are determined to reverse the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease? There are two sides to this curious coin of choices.
Little Picture Science
I initially began my research career in the gold standard tradition of all academic research. I constructed a narrowly focused program of research – one that only a few other academics were pursing. The strategy worked for me as it does for all other successful academics – I published in the best journals, worked in excellent universities, was promoted and tenured.
There are two sides to every coin. On the one side of this coin of choices, my narrowly focused research program led to success in an academic setting. On the other side of my coin of choices, my research was so narrowly defined that I investigated a tiny piece of a
very complex puzzle. Yes, I was successful but my university funded research
did not have the impact I had envisioned when I went to all the trouble to earn a Ph.D.
Big Picture Science
Discouraged that the best of my energy and efforts resulted in outcomes of little consequence I quit my academic position a decade ago to pursue big picture science. I did not want to waste my life away studying narrowly constrained questions.
I chose the most difficult of all diseases to research by setting my research
agenda to investigate what causes Parkinson’s symptoms and what people had done to reverse them.
Having opened the opportunity to consider any and every possibility, I have unearthed many exciting discoveries over the past decade which are documented in my radio shows, blog and books. I could not have done this work in a university setting while engage in Little Picture Science.
I believe the reason my research has been far more successful this past decade than was the case before then is that I refused to focus my attention on a tiny piece of the big picture. Tackling the big picture is a strategy that produces the most rewarding
Big Picture Science for Parkinson’s Disease
So much for my story. Have you been narrowly focused in your thinking? Have you been chasing after a pill or therapy that will fix everything? Such an approach engages a narrowly focused strategy that, as with my experience, promises a feeble result in most cases.
In this place and at this hour I encourage you to pause and take a step backward for a moment. Ask yourself big picture questions.
- What is the origin of your symptoms?
- What happened to you six months to a year before your symptoms became problematic?
By asking yourself big picture science questions like these you will likely discover answers that will help guide you down a steady course to recovery.
Ask big questions.
Get big answers.
There is nothing wrong with the small picture scientific approach, but it promises to produce disappointing results. That has certainly been my experience. I expect the same will be true for you.
Robert Rodgers PhD