I’m reading a book about the nature of science. It argues that scientific advancement is not a gradual accumulation of facts, it’s a gradual accumulation of facts interrupted by sudden revolutions in thought.
These “paradigm shifts” redefine entire scientific fields and their assumptions about reality. The shift from Classical Physics to Quantum Physics, and Geocentric astronomy to Heliocentric astronomy are both examples.
In other words, when we encounter unsolvable problems in science, we change the problem to one that we can solve for the time being. Thus, scientific advancement requires creative thinkers who can identify the error in prevailing assumptions, think beyond the status-quo and guide an organization to its next fruitful paradigm. A true innovator forgoes the luxury of black and white, and suffers in the grey so that he/she remains open to the next great idea.