Sunday, November 04, 2007

Badass Scientist of the Week

This week's badass scientist of the week is General George Smith Patton, Jr. Ok, true, he was a tank commander, not a scientist. But he was about as badass as they come, and I think he would have made a great scientist had he not been a military man. In fact, when I heard him quoted on the radio today, I could hardly believe the words had not been uttered by some famous scientist:

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking",

is apparently a classic Patton line.

While I'm not sure to what extent independent thinking is valued in the army, it certainly is useful in science. Here are a few more Patton gems that might be useful advice for the scientist:

  • "It is only by doing things others have not that one can advance."
  • "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
  • "Pressure makes diamonds."
  • "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom."
  • "Few men are killed by the bayonet, many are scared by it. Bayonets should be fixed when the fire fight starts."
Ok, well, maybe the last one is not that useful in the lab...

Pretty smart for an army grunt, even if he was a homicidal maniac completely off his rocker.


2 comments:

Matt said...

hey, i like those quotes, especially this one: "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with your ingenuity."

Except is that a typo (in bold)? should it be "their" ?

Anyway, that definitely describes my teaching philosophy in the lab. Now I know I'll be a good General too.

Bayman said...

Haha. Yeah thanks Matt it's "their". My typo. Or Freudian slip...??