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.