Advice for a Young Investigator by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Neely Swanson, Larry W. Swanson

By Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Neely Swanson, Larry W. Swanson

Santiago Ramon y Cajal was once a mythic determine in technological know-how. Hailed because the father of recent anatomy and neurobiology, he was once principally answerable for the trendy perception of the mind. His groundbreaking works have been New principles at the constitution of the worried method and Histology of the worried approach in guy and Vertebrates . as well as leaving a legacy of unheard of clinical examine, Cajal sought to teach the amateur scientist approximately how technology used to be performed and the way he notion it's going to be performed. This lately rediscovered vintage, first released in 1897, is an anecdotal consultant for the confused new investigator in addition to a fresh source for the outdated professional. Cajal was once a pragmatist, conscious of the pitfalls of being too idealistic--and he had a feeling of humor, quite glaring in his diagnoses of varied stereotypes of eccentric scientists. The booklet covers every thing from precious character qualities for an investigator to social elements conducive to medical paintings.

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Nevertheless, undue veneration, like all emotional states, prevents critical evaluation. If we feel spent after thoughtprovoking reading, allow a few days to pass. Then go on with a cool head and calm judgment to a second or even third reading. Little by little, deªciencies become apparent and ºimsy logic is revealed. Ingenious hypotheses lose their authority, only to reveal their shaky foundations. We are no longer inºuenced by the magic of style. In short, understanding emerges. We are no longer a blind worshiper, but Intellectual Qualities 31 a judge, of the book.

CHP P. CHP P. 44 Chapter 3 us. An entire universe that has scarcely been explored lies before the scientist. There is the sky sprinkled with celestial bodies moving about in the darkness of inªnite space, the sea with its mysterious depths, the earth guarding within its innermost recesses the history of life, including man’s predecessors; and ªnally, the human organism or masterpiece of creation. Each cell presents us with the unknown, and each heartbeat inspires profound meditation within us. Carried away by enthusiasm, perhaps I am slipping into hyperbole.

Harm is caused unconsciously by the biographers of illustrious scholars when they attribute great scientiªc conquests to genius rather than to hard work and patience. What more could the weak will of the student or professor ask than to rationalize its laziness with the modest, and thus even more lamentable, admission of intellectual mediocrity! L. Figuier are immune from the regrettable trend of extolling beyond reason the mental gifts of famous investigators. Careful thought should make them realize how discouraging this can be to their readers.

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