Eric Ash: the three things a scientist needs

What do you think does make a good scientist? 

Oh gosh. Well, I mean, curiosity must be item number one, no question about that. Erm, I think the second thing is to be at the same time focused and unfocused. You have to decide what – specifically what you want to do, what experiment you want to do, or what theory you’d like to try to develop. But you should regard that as a springboard to things on either side, too. I think people who are not very successful in the research phase, tend to fix too early and too sharply on one thing. I mean, my hero was Dennis Gabor, you know, whose mind could really go in a number of different directions and fruitfully at all – at all times. The third thing that’s needed is a sort of a cussedness and, erm, a sort of a grim determination. Because it isn’t always fun, and one can spend time, sometimes, working for a long time on something, and then find out that it’s no use. One has to start going through – so I think the ability not to be too rapidly, disastrously discouraged when things go wrong, I think is a very important part of it.

  • Interviewee Eric Ash
  • Duration 00:01:33
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Thomas Lean
  • Date of interview 4/25/2013
  • Shelfmark C1379/92
  • Keywords

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