Friday, March 17, 2006

Best parts of scientific life

The Daily Transcript: The Best Parts of the Scientific Life Having written about the worst things about scientific life, Alex Palazzo now shoots for the best. For Alex, there are three best things: discovery, discussion and creativity. Fewer items than his worst list, but he's written more about each. If he's like me, that figures -- I know instinctively why I don't like something (and if you can't change it, move on) but if I like something, it is worth spending a bit of time thinking or writing about, to pin down why. (Useful to apply in other walks of life, maybe .) There are some nice comments. I'll copy a couple here -- but go and look, there will probably be more by now. (Acme's point 4 is a subset of Alex's point 1, I'd say.) Comments Oh, my! Your extensive arguments AGAINST the scientific life seem so overwhelming compared to those FOR. Do "discovery" and "creativity" trigger some sort of neural pleasure centers that override the overwhelmingly negative features you outlined? Polly All I will say is that the number one, two and three reasons I love science vastly overwhelm all the things I hate. It would be hard for anything to top the feeling of discovery. apalazzo Yes discovery. It's great, that is until you've discovered that you've been scooped! Perhaps there are fewer items on the bright side of science, but they're worth it IMHO. Again if the thrill of discovery isn't good enough then you know that basic science ain't for you. Speaking of basic research, how about for #4 - cure diseases. Okay it doesn't happen often, but ... Acme Scientist