The most dangerous thing that could ever happen to a society or a rational human being is to accept or refuse any idea without real understanding, critical reasoning, and sound judgment, no matter the idea is religious, political, or scientific.
Xianfa Xie, Ph.D.
Welcome to my page! This is a semi-professional webpage about myself, particularly about my work and interests.
Intellectually, I am interested in everything within and beyond this known universe, which often transcends the boundaries of individual intellectual domains.
In a smaller scope, the goal of my scientific research is to integrate different fields of biology and related scientific disciplines to reach new and fuller understandings of problems fundamental to biology, medicine, agriculture, and evolution, and utilize such information to better meet our needs for food, water, disease prevention, medical treatment, and environmental protection.
I am also interested in extending the study of biological evolution, through human evolution, into the evolution of social organization, ideas, and behaviors of human beings to understand the past, present, and future of human society.
It is my hope that by integrating the natural and social sciences we will be able to solve some of the major problems facing human society and the environment both today and in the future, and find a solution for healthy, sustainable, and equitable human development while maintaining harmonic relationships both within the human society and between human beings and the nature.
My philosophy of scientific research
- Biological system is much more complex than the systems often dealt with in physics or even biochemistry. No complex biological questions like evolution or medical problems like cancer can be fully understood from a limited perspective.
- I continuously challenge myself by relentlessly pursuing new knowledge and skills and scrutizing my own ideas. I believe the solution to a scientific problem, particularly in biology, often lies in the organic integration of knowledge and methodology from a set of related fields, and great scientific progress is often made through examining important questions through details.
- I believe science is one of the most demading professions, both intellectually and ethically, as it requires devotion, honesty, selflessness, courage, creativity, knowledge, technical skills, and the intellectual ability to see through the surface and chaos to reach the truth.
- I believe real scientific spirit means challenging any scientific theory that is unfounded, or has gained an inappropriate position in science, including some fashionable ideas, so-called "conventional wisdoms", and scientific theories that have been established as dogmas in scientific communities, in order to reach true/truer understanding and make real progress in science.
A wholer human being and a fuller life
I truely believe every person is a scientist and artist hidden in him/herself. Many individuals in our history, including Leonardo da Vinci, have proved so. However, the social environment today, particularly the division of labors and the increasing competition in professional world, have forced most of us to pursue a career in a very narrow area and develop ourselves in a very limited way. But I believe a better society is one in which all the creativity in science, art, etc. of each human being could be fully releashed. This not only creates a fuller and more enjoyable life for each individual, maximize the society's productivity as a whole, but also would help each of us to reach a better understanding of everything based on a richer knowledge/experience and a more balanced judgement.