Those of you who are scientists and/or manage scientists may be interested in this.
In 1986, American mathematician Richard Hamming gave a now-famous talk at Bell Labs, entitled "You and Your Research." You can read the whole thing here: http://www.paulgraham.com/hamming.html and lots of other places online.
Those of you in IT probably know Hamming; he was very influential in the early days of computing, as I understand it. I'd never heard of him until a recent mention in University Affairs http://www.universityaffairs.ca/issues/2007/october/q_quiet_01.html
Hamming spoke about how to achieve great things and gain recognition in science. I was making a few notes to myself and thought to share with the MT gang. This is not a thorough list, but hopefully it's enough to prompt some discussion.
- work with your office door open; more interruptions, but you accomplish more in the long run
- work on on your field's "important problems"
- become emotionally involved -- commitment & passion
- write books more than articles
- keep reading to be intellectually prepared for ideas when they come to you
- set aside time each week to talk and think only about "great thoughts"
- drop everything to pursue a great idea when one comes up
- learn to sell your ideas (write clearly and well and give good talks, both formal and informal)
- don't let ego get in the way -- conform on the small stuff to get along
Those of you who work with researchers, or who are researchers, what do you think?