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How to choose a good scientific problem

by Uri Alon
JAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society ()

Abstract

Choosing good problems is essential for being a good scientist. But what is a good problem, and how do you choose one? The subject is not usually discussed explicitly within our profession. Scientists are expected to be smart enough to figure it out on their own and through the observation of their teachers. This lack of explicit discussion leaves a vacuum that can lead to approaches such as choosing problems that can give results that merit publication in valued journals, resulting in a job and tenure. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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