Better to Fail at Solving a Big Problem, than to Succeed at a Minor One?
Francis Collins, head of the NIH, discusses a favorite book of 2013:
(p. C6) Taking risks is part of genius, and genius is not immune to bloopers. Mario Livio's "Brilliant Blunders" leads us through the circumstances that surrounded famous gaffes. . . . Mr. Livio helps us see that such spectacular errors are opportunities rather than setbacks. There's a lesson for young scientists here. Boldly attacking problems of fundamental significance can have more impact than pursuing precise solutions to minor questions--even if there are a few bungles along the way.
For the full article, see:
(Note: the online version of the article has the date Dec. 13, 2013.)
The book that Collins praises is:
Livio, Mario. Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.