Missing out on discoveries


Scientists make discoveries all the time. Research findings differ in terms of significance, breadth, and downstream potential, but they do happen on a daily basis to everyone who is passionate about research. Any undergraduate student who is just getting into the “research groove” is a good example. The fact that the majority of his/her discoveries early on are not going to impress the community-at-large is not important. What is critical is to get into the habit of noticing interesting things, even if they are not earth-shattering. Upon training, one gets to appreciate the finer details, which inevitably leads to significant findings.

Now let’s consider someone who has just made a truly thought-provoking discovery. Here is a question that interests me: how often have others passed by that observation and did not even think twice about its significance? One can probably say that the predecessors might not have had the right tools, which…

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