Avoid Boring People

James Watson, in his book Avoid Boring People, gives a few useful tips. As the title of the book suggests, the first tip is, avoid boring people. Brightest are often the biggest bores, because they expect only adoration from one and all. Watson, however, advises, “An intelligent team mate can shorten your flirtation with a bad idea.” His other suggestion is to make a team of only two people; a scientific team of more than two is a crowded affair. Young and not-so-famous colleagues are preferable in the team. These persons help you keep your brain moving. Most important advice of Watson is to avoid a gathering of more than two Nobel Prize winners.

Watson’s ‘double helix’ partner Francis Crick has narrated an interesting anecdote in his autobiography. When Crick realised that “we had stumbled onto something important,” he went home and told his wife, “We seemed to have made a big discovery.” His wife recalls years later, that she hadn’t believed a word of it.

Whatever you might have become, remember that, scientist or no-scientist, in the eyes of your spouse, you are nothing more than, as Carl Sagan would say, “A pale blue dot”.