Rules of a Scientist's Life

Posted on 2016-01-11 by fp
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Life would be so easy if you simply could find a list of rules to adhere to to make everything splendid. Now, there actually is one list that has been there for at least three years and finally got to me:

  1. See failure as a beginning, not an end.
  2. Never stop learning.
  3. Assume nothing, question everything.
  4. Teach others what you know.
  5. Analyze objectively.
  6. Practice humility.
  7. Respect constructive criticism.
  8. Give credit where it’s due.
  9. Take initiative.
  10. Ask the tough questions early.
  11. Love what you do, or leave.

I could debate the ordering of these rules. For example to have rule 10 rise much higher in priority, but I am not sure whether this would mean to try to hard to follow rule 3. I don’t like the feeling of voluntary compliance to arbitrary rules.

I could not find a source, but the list had made the tour through the Internet. I myself found it in a blog called divine irony where it obviously had not originated. I could follow it through to another blog by Alan Marnett where it at least offered to take suggestions for incremental rules. (first comment on January 22th, 2013.)

But there are other candidates. Enrique Sedano mentiones I Fucking Love Science as the source of the rules, but is itself a posting from well within 2014, at least one year younger than the occurrence above. I didn’t went to dig into facebook to uncover 2013’s posts but accept the claim that Enrique Sedano reads I Fucking Love Science for many years.