Duty Calls, Science

Novelty is overrated, insight should rule.

When I started my PI career, my first cover letter to a glamour journal emphatically pointed out that my cutting-edge, ground-breaking work was the first and firstest to do X.

Feedback from senior colleagues was: “Drop that blech! Better say what your insight into X actually is, and in what way it is profound.” — Good advice. Because novelty is overrated, insight rules.

How should novelty be valued in science? Not exclusively.

So I wasn’t too surprised how Barak Cohen answered the question “How should novelty be valued in science?” in the last issue of eLife. I would never put a question mark into a title, if the answer isĀ  so clear:

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Books, Science

Steven Weinberg and the smugness of hindsight

One of the more helpful pieces of advice I recommend to new starters in my team are Steven Weinberg’s “Four golden lessons“. Weinberg is a physics Nobel laureate and “considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today” (says Wikipedia). I guess this means he knows his physics … and his four golden lessons certainly are helpful:

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