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Outsiders and great scientists

25 Feb

Last weeks brought another worth reading pieces on being a scientist: one in PLoS Computational Biology (found via The Evilutionary Biologist) and one over at Adaptative Complexity blog (found via Genome Technology). I would add a third one, albeit not strictly about scientists. This is “The power of the marginal” by Paul Graham. Graham in general writes about start-ups, but in this particular essay he put an advice, that I keep repeating myself over and over again:

If most of your ideas aren’t stupid, you’re probably being too conservative. You’re not bracketing the problem.

When I look back over the ideas I had, they could be categorized into four main groups: the ones that were published couple of years before I found them, the ones that were published just before, the ones that were published just after I started to work on them and finally the ideas I’m still working on because they were not published yet. In this light, Graham’s advice seems to me a pretty good way to escape this schema.

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Posted by on February 25, 2008 in Career, Research skills

 

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