Archive for December, 2011

The missing particle and Good Questions

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I was listening to Prof John Butterworth talk on Friday about the search for the Higgs Boson  particle.  This is a theoretical particle that is a necessary part of of our current model of the Universe, but as yet, no one has proved it actually exists, so that is why they built the Cern collider to prove if the theory is correct or not.  At present the search is about 80% complete.  Prof Butterworth was asked why he sounded excited by the idea that they might find out that they were wrong and he  said that “It is when you realise you don’t know something that you start learning new stuff.”  I thought this was wonderful.  He then said “It is very hard in research to pose good questions”  and that is also totally true of facilitation.  Often a good question unlocks whole new fields of possibilities.  Leaders ask good questions.  Discovering that you don’t know something, that things are not as you had believed them to be changes the way you view the world and this enables you to begin changing too!

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Alice in Wonderland.