View from the High Street: Standing on the shoulders of giants

Paul Morris notes the positive impact of mentoring within optics

Sir Isaac Newton is well known to us all in optics. A mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, author and bane of the first year at university for many an optics student. Undoubtedly, he was a pivotal figure in the philosophical revolution known as the Age of Enlightenment and is credited with this famous quote: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’

To be enlightened can be defined as having or showing a rational, modern and well-informed outlook or giving someone greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation. In the modern world, we are bombarded with misinformation from various sources, including numerous ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ gurus. It is important for us, as a profession and individuals, to choose our sources carefully in terms of evidence base but also those whom we choose to emulate as role models and those we may work with as mentors.

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