Monday, November 19, 2007

10 simple rules to be a sucessful scientist

PLoS has been running a series of editorials about simple rules to follow in research. For example you can check out the 10 simple rules to publishing, to getting grants, for reviewers, for post-doc'ing, collaboration, oral presentation and poster presentation. I just wish they had one for teaching, as I'm facing my first class tomorrow.

The culmination of this series are the 10 rules to do your best research:

  1. Drop modesty (strive for excellence)
  2. Prepare your mind (luck favors the prepared minds)
  3. Age is important (research strategies should be different depending on your age, although I'm not sure I agree with that one)
  4. Brains are not enough, you also need courage (I assume this means taking risks)
  5. Make the best of your working condition (don't let your environment limit you, but exploit the advantages you have)
  6. Work hard and effectively (all the successful scientists I know are workaholics)
  7. Believe and doubt your hypothesis at the same time (so be skeptical and accept data for what it is, but don't give up on ideas before you test them)
  8. Work on the important problems in your field (work on something interesting and relevant, no matter what the current trends are)
  9. Be committed to your problem (because it might take a looong time to solve it)
  10. Leave your door open (interact as much as you can with other people, you never know where the insights might come from)


Bayman said...

don't worry about the teaching; if they had a tips it would probably say good teachers never have any idea what they're doing.

just try not to pee your pants, or at least hide behind the podium when you do.