Thursday, June 17, 2010

Audacity in Science

A series of articles in Science MagazineThe Audacity in Science Series by Anne Sasso. From a response: Perspective: Audacity is Overrated:
"I conclude that audacity is a commendable trait in some successful scientists and a driving force in some scientific discoveries. But it is not a substitute of incremental and methodical science -- which can also produce major breakthroughs. And it is not the best approach to training young scientists for the long journey of career-building, which may or may not lead to transformative work or even research careers. As senior investigators we have a responsibility to provide our students and postdocs with the best mentorship and (often conventional) training while at the same time promoting innovation, creativity, and independence. I believe that's the best way to produce the next generation of Olympians with the fewest broken necks.

It may also be useful to remind ourselves that, as mentioned elsewhere (subscription required), "there is no recipe for original science; it happens anarchically and by accident, in spite of, rather than because of, scientific institutions." I would add in spite of, rather than because of, audacious scientists."

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