The Surgeon

This may freak people out, but I crazily think that a good scientist should be as good as a good surgeon: They should be the combination of extraordinary familiarity with the subject and extraordinary intuition in his field.

His expertise should be accumulated through millions of times of surgery experience, through the weirdest and toughest cases that he tried hard to fix. His wisdom should give him excellent intuitions in cases where nobody has complete knowledge before a treatment has been performed.

Once he grows old, a good surgeon should still be able to perform a basic surgery completely with his own hands.

Once he grows old, a good scientist should still be able to derive an equation confidently on the blackboard.

No patient wants to put his/her life in the hands of the second-best surgeon.

No good question wants to put its answer in the hands of second-best scientist.

There is no shame in not being the best, though. But the bottom line is that, if you do it, you should keep going for the best.

I know this is crazy thinking, and may earn me a risky and bumpy path. But after all, life has so many other places to keep peace for me.

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  • onlylonely  On March 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    one comment unrelated to the article itself: why use this pic for this topic?

    • mumamme  On March 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Because I am suddenly guessing that a good cook is the same…If you have only one piece of fish, it wants to be cooked with best effort:)

      • onlylonely  On March 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        oh but a good cook is always attached to high price, unless ‘you’ are the very good cook!! I guess this applies to the cases of surgeon and scientist as well: in order to be the top-notch surgeon and scientist, you sacrifice a lot, which may impact your ”utility function”, it’s just the raw utility is so high that you still want to make that sacrifice anyway.

      • mumamme  On March 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        yes I agree~~People just weigh things so differently. And that is the fun of life!

  • onlylonely  On March 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    And no i don’t think this is crazy thinking at all – i always believe that people doing science should be targeting the best science, whether they could achieve it is a totally different issue.

    • mumamme  On March 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Yes, but I think the good science in my mind is not usually helpful for doing our research…But sometimes I just want to play the way that I enjoy the most…
      BTW, I feel sad that I will not see you for another week!!…

      • onlylonely  On March 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm

        i think there’s some delayed effect here for sure: in order for you to do the science you want to do one day, you need to commit yourself to the research you don’t want to do for now. And hopefully one day the way you enjoy the most will be the way of ‘real science’!
        btw again, i’m following you on your blog so we are never far from each other!!

      • mumamme  On March 23, 2012 at 8:59 pm

        haha thanx~that will give me incentives to write more fun blogs…not lie this gloomy one…

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