Critical Thinking Needs to Be Taught

Critical Thinking Needs to Be Taught

Author: Jonathan Faiz

Why do scientists need to think critically? Isn’t questioning things part of their daily practice? In their Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Norman Sieroka, Vivianne I. Otto, and Gerd Folkers, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, explain how rather than working without questioning the methods that are used, responsible scientists should be able to take a step back, critically reflect on their actions, and explain them to other scientists and the general public.

Critical thinking is not something that should be done in hindsight, but is rather an integral part of scientific practice. It needs to be taught at the university level and employed from the early stages of researchers’ careers. In order to address this need, the team has developed a critical thinking course in the masters’ program in pharmaceutical sciences at the ETH Zurich. This not only engages students in critical thinking, but also makes them more flexible in their thinking, allows them to interact better with their peers, and prepares them to tackle unexpected results.


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