Advice for measurers and thinkers: announcing the new science of gaps

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Background: Psychiatrists are indeed measurers and thinkers, but they are first and foremost people—and they make the same fundamental error that everyone does. That mistake, a function of the way the brain works, is to think about things and concrete entities rather than looking in the gaps between these things and entities. Here, we attempt to sort out this problem. Objectives: This keynote address aims to explicate a new science of gaps. Gaps are weightless, colourless and odourless—something you rarely recognise, and don’t give a second thought about when you do. And yet they structure your life, your relationships, your beliefs, and the universe. There are far more gaps than things, and far more gaps between ideas, and concepts, than we ever imagine. Methods: We will look through world history, examining some of the great minds who were gap-thinkers. We will see what we can learn from these intellectual leaders, and look to whether we, too, can become accomplished gap-thinkers. Findings: Looking at gaps where others don’t represents a novel and rewarding way of looking at the world. I hope we will find that such an approach, on detailed inspection, is useful for Congress participants. Conclusions: Welcome to the world of gaps. Becoming a gap-thinker requires a little bit of effort, but, more importantly, a willingness to take a new slant on what is already seen, naturally, because of our hard-wired cognitive architecture. But it might be exceedingly rewarding to make the transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
EventRoyal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists congress - Brisbane, QLD
Duration: 3 May 20157 May 2015


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