Day 129: Lying toward truth

I once interviewed John Isaacs, a professor of oncology and cancer biology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Our conversation focused on a method of researching cancer biology in a three-dimensional matrix. The standard methodology was to use Petri dishes, which were effectively two-dimensional environments that distorted cancer cell behavior.

Isaacs was talking about the risks involved in relying on models. But models are unavoidable in science, and Isaacs recognized their necessity: “I have always lived by the belief that ‘a model is a lie which can tell you a lot about the truth.’”

And isn't that a perfect definition of literature.