Sunday 21 July 2024

Critical thinking & microbiology


What is critical thinking? As with any oft-used term, and one centered on intellectual pursuits and of pedagogical research, there are differing approaches. One definition, which is useful, among the voluminous texts on the subject, is (1):


“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”


Defining critical thinking is one thing. What makes for an effective ‘critical thinker’ is another (2).


A good critical thinker is someone who can adapt to the situation and be able to appraise a situation and to ask searching questions for a topic, even if they are not the subject matter expert in that particular topic.


And how does this apply to microbiology? How do we distil such concepts as objectivity, thoroughness and precision? So much of microbiology is based on examining unknowns or weighing up probability, to the extent that we need an understanding of uncertainty, especially in risk assessments (3).


In this week’s article, I take a look at critical thinking, and how this can apply to areas like microbiology in pharmaceuticals and healthcare. See:


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (