Read Avoid Boring People: Lessons From a Life in Science Online

Authors: James D. Watson

Tags: #General, #Biography & Autobiography, #Personal Memoirs, #Self-Help, #Life Sciences, #Science, #Scientists, #Molecular biologists, #Biology, #Molecular Biology, #Science & Technology

Avoid Boring People: Lessons From a Life in Science (45 page)

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3. Be prepared to resign over inadequate space

4. Have friends close to those who rule

5. Never offer tenure to practitioners of dying disciplines

6. Become the chairman

7. Ask the dean only for what he can give

Chapter 12. FROM BEING EDITED BY HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS

1. Be the first to tell a good story

2. A wise editor matters more than a big advance

3. Find an agent whose advice you will follow

4. Use snappy sentences to open your chapters

5. Don't use autobiography to justify past actions or motivations

6. Avoid imprecise modifiers

7. Always remember your intended reader

8. Read out loud your written words

Chapter 13. FROM WATCHING TOP SCIENCE EMERGE IN THE BIOLOGICAL FABS

1. Two obsessions are one too many

2. Don't take up golf

3. Races within the same building bring on heartburn

4. Close competitors should publish simultaneously

5. Share valuable research tools

Chapter 14. FROM MANAGING CANCER RESEARCH

1. Accept leadership challenges before your academic career peaks

2. Run a benevolent dictatorship

3. Manage your scientists like a baseball team

4. Don't make midseason trades

5. Only ask for advice that you will later accept

6. Use your endowment to support science, not for long-term salary support

7. Promote key scientists faster than they expect

8. Schedule as few appointments as possible

9. Don't be shy about showing displeasure

10. Walk the grounds

Chapter 15. FROM HEADING THE COLD SPRING HARBOR FABORATORY

1. Avoid boring people

2. Delegate as much authority as possible

3. Institutions are either moving forward or they are moving backward

4. Always buy adjacent property that comes up for sale

5. Attractive buildings project institutional strength

6. Have wealthy neighbors

7. Be a friend to your trustees

8. All take and no give will disenchant your benefactors

9. Never appear upset when other people deny you their money

10. Avoid being photographed

11. Never dye your hair or use collagen

12. Make necessary decisions before you have to

ILLUSTRATION CREDITS

© George Band: 111

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives: 40,49,57, 64,103,149,244 (top), 251, 254,260,281,288,290

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives, Barbara McClintock Collection: 59

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives, James D. Watson Collection: 3,5,7, 8,9,10,14,29,30, 81, 87, 89,107,175,176,183,184, 185,244 (bottom), 268,287,308

Photo by Manny Delbrück: 307

Rachel Glaeser: 100

From the photo collection of Russell H. Hart, Jr., West Lafayette, Indiana. Photo taken by Russell H. Hart, Sr., deceased: 12

Harvard University Archives: 219,321

National Library of Medicine: 298

© The Nobel Foundation 1962:188

Richard T. Payne: 32

Rockefeller Archive Center: 108

© Rick Stafford: 209

University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication: 13

James D. Watson: 126, 140, 146, 214, 265, 329

A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James D. Watson was director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York from 1968 to 1993 and is now its chancellor. He was the first director of the National Center for Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health, from 1989 to 1992. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, he has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, and, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

A NOTE ON THE TYPE

The text of this book was set in Minion, a typeface produced by the Adobe Corporation specifically for the Macintosh personal computer, and released in 1990. Designed by Robert Slimbach, Minion combines the classic characteristics of old-style faces with the full complement of weights required for modern typesetting.

Composed by North Market Street Graphics,
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Printed and bound by Berryville Graphics,
Berryville, Virginia

Designed by Anthea Lingeman

THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK
PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF

Copyright © 2007 James D. Watson

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

www.aaknopf.com

Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Watson, James D., 1928—

Avoid boring people: and other lessons from a life in science / by James D. Watson.—1st ed.

p. cm.

eISBN: 978-0-307-48179-5

1. Watson, James D.—Biography. 2. Molecular
biologists—United States—Biography. 3. Scientists—
United States—Biography. I. Title.

QH3.w34.A3 2007

572.8092—dc22

[B]   2007015675

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BOOK: Avoid Boring People: Lessons From a Life in Science
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