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In town this week to receive their awards, the winners of the most prestigious U.S. government prize for young scientists had some advice for anyone hoping to follow in their footsteps.

“Luck goes first,” said Andrew Goodman, an assistant professor of microbial pathogenesis at the Yale School of Medicine and a recipient of the National Institute of Health Director’s New Innovator Award.

Jonathan Pillow, an assistant professor of psychology and neurobiology at the University of Texas, Austin, said that “luck” includes “being at the right place at the right time” and benefiting from “whoever happens to be on the selection panel” when you go in for an interview.

Samantha Hansen, an assistant professor of geological sciences at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa who works in Antarctica, agreed that “luck has something to do with it. But we all work our tails off, too.” (1)

The essence of modern science.
A lot of work.
A lot of luck.
Zero imagination.
Zero intuition.
Zero true (non)thinking!

One of the highest of human activities (along with religion and philosophy), seen only as a… job.

How low can our thinking get?

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