Extensive reading also becomes counterproductive when there is no implementation of knowledge.
Getting results is important if one needs to build confidence and see the visible manifestation of one’s hard work.
MORE IDEAS FROM Advice for Young Scientists—and Curious People in General
The best environment to be creative is a quiet and stable life. A scientist does not need anxiety, privacy invasion, distress or emotional harassment. E
nsure that the environment is safe, where one can share anything with others and can have open discussions.
If a young scientist suspects that their endeavour might lead to something bad for mankind, one should not start it. It is also in the best interests of society to stay righteous.
We ourselves are the easiest to fool, being most susceptible to self-deception, and then moving towards deceiving other people. It is best to be respectful and stay away from criticizing or habitually disbelieving others.
Published in 1979, Advice to a Young Scientist is a practical and philosophical guide to curious people engaged in exploratory activities.
The author, Peter Medawar, was a Nobel Prize-winning biologist, and a lively, witty writer. The book had several key insights for young explorers so that they don’t get lost in their journey.
While starting a new endeavour, the logical course of action is to accumulate maximum information. This is not feasible according to the author, as time is limited and one cannot go on learning new techniques before beginning the research work.
A better course of action is to start and learn whatever is necessary, letting the urgency of your work guide your learning.
Effective scientific collaboration is about creating an environment that develops and expands upon the ideas of the various collaborators. The joint idea is not a mediocre ‘design by committee’ but something greater than the sum of its parts.
One has to put aside the ego and become self-aware, not hankering for credit. Being generous towards giving away ideas is for the greater good of society.
It is always better to go for important problems instead of dull, useless problems no one cares about.
Conventional advice tells us to follow our passion, but it is better to go for gold, tackling the crucial issues. Once we are in the process, it will become something we are passionate about.
For real progress, a novice must be willing to give up their best ideas when they are revealed as groundless.
One should learn how to take no for an answer and understand that failure is part of their exploration.
Our society is built on the premise that human beings are more or less rational. We trust that our leaders, judges, scientists, and other experts are making fair and unbiased decisions, and that we ourselves are seeing the world as it is and making the best choices we can.
If only that were true!
This underscores the importance of starting on the right foot. If you upset the person you’re trying to help, they’ll wall themselves off.
It's important to use empathy, but don’t get too friendly. Take a careful balance between making someone like you and asserting your authority.
“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”
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