Paradigm Shifts and Dissertations

February 19th is Nicolaus Copernicus’s birthday. Copernicus created one of the greatest paradigm shifts in scientific history, here’s why that’s so important for dissertation students everywhere…

Great things happen when you change the way you see things.

In 1542, Nicolaus Copernicus officially published the heliocentric model of the solar system that he had been working on for the previous three decades. For the 1400 years prior, the Earth had been assumed to be the center of not just the solar system, but the entire universe!

This paradigm shift, away from the Earth being the center of the universe, inspired an avalanche of scientific discovery, including:

  • the stupendous distances between the Earth and the stars,
  • the fact that same gravity that causes objects to fall to the ground on Earth also binds the Moon to the Earth and the Earth to the Sun, and
  • the notion that, since the Earth is not “special,” every pinpoint star in the sky is, in fact a sun, capable of hosting it’s own planets, some of which may be capable of supporting life!

The scientific community moved from thinking that the Earth was the center of the universe, which itself was created simply to host the Earth, to understanding that the Earth is one of several planets orbiting around a fairly mundane star in a vast galaxy of stars in a huge cluster of galaxies, which is one among many clusters and super clusters. Mind blown!

You may need to undergo a similar paradigm shift in your dissertation process. Specifically,

  • The dissertation process is about the destination, not the journey.
  • Your dissertation is not going to solve all of the world’s problems. In fact, it’s unlikely to solve any of the world’s problems. And, that’s OK!
  • Your dissertation doesn’t have to demonstrate your best work; it simply has to be good enough.

If you are struggling with this paradigm shift or even struggling to understand why this paradigm shift is so important, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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