This past weekend I attended a martial arts seminar taught by the amazing Grand Master Steve Shover. At one point during the seminar I was actually stunned. Not from something flashy or complicated, but by something so simple and based on our timeless mantra, "where the head goes, the body will follow."
As scientists we are notorious for doing the same thing. (There is nothing in this universe more complicated than getting a group of scientists together for a social gathering.) I've had many head slap moments in the laboratory when my troubleshooting turned out to be something very simple. The problem is the same as mine in the martial arts context. We have enough experience to try to make it complicated. We start looking at ramp temperatures or replacing parts before realizing the gas isn't turned on or the needle is bent. We forget the basics in our focus on the details.
In martial arts, the best way to understand a technique is to teach it. This is because when you explain it to someone without experience (the fact finder) as opposed to when you discuss it with another of equal rank (the scientific community), you have to focus on the basics and in doing so you remember the basic principles involved and it allows you to apply those principles to the complicated stuff. The same applies for science. Keeping the basics, front and center, and keeping in mind simplicity, not only helps your testimony in the courtroom, but also keeps them in front when you are troubleshooting or developing a new method in the laboratory.