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The Dialectic Life


Michael Grome




A dialectic is a conversation between two or more people holding different points of view, but with the intent to learn from one another, to gather more insight, in the hopes of approaching closer to the truth. We can learn so much from each other, but when approaching conversation involving seemingly opposing viewpoints, so many people come with a sense of needing to "prove" their viewpoint to another or show the other person they are wrong: they debate. This approach to conversation and information often results in a loss of communication, self-affirmation of beliefs, emboldened and passionate responses, and perpetuated biases, which only furthers the apparent political divide we are currently experiencing in this country. Michael Grome holds B.S. degrees in Plant Molecular Biology and Natural Resource Management from Cornell University and is currently studying DNA Nanotechnology for his PhD in Cellular Biology at Yale University. Along with research, he has a passion for education and science outreach, presenting talks at local venues through Yale Science Diplomats, as well as teaching high school courses on GMOs and Philosophy of Science via Yale’s Pathways to Science and Splash programs. He also holds great interest in cognitive biases and epistemology, and is working toward a career in applying agricultural biotechnology to advance sustainable agriculture. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Stop. No, stop. Take a moment. Think about your thoughts right now. What exactly are you thinking? What do you think I'm going to say? What influenced those thoughts? Is it your expectations of these talks? The school we're. Or my skin color or gender. This is a challenge that I post to test my perceptions and it's, it's really fun to test our perceptions when it's something like puzzles or, or illusions, right?

Like, is that dress black and blue or is it gold and yellow, white, uh, whatever. , but we don't gain the same level of enjoyment when it is more of our political perceptions that are being challenged. Oftentimes, these can raise stress and emotions that can block our ability to learn and listen, and it's tough to be challenged in this way, but without challenge to our beliefs, how can we refine them and grow intellectual?

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