Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to become a genius

Being a genius has a lot to do with perception...either you perceive yourself as a genius and nobody else does or you think you are just a regular person and everybody thinks you are a genius. Sometimes you might be a real genius and everybody knows it, including you...but that is quite rare. It seems there are ways to "become" a genius and it has little to do with a gift from mother Nature (or God for that matter) rather than being able, or lucky enough, to "see" something nobody else saw or even bothered looking at.

Here is a paper published in PLOS Computational Biology that just might help you. I decided to bring the highlights to on genius....

1) Nobody cares about your age, especially if you are young and, it gets even better....if you are a "nobody", nobody really cares. You can imagine very controversial concepts and maybe you will be lucky enough (and smart enough) to be right on target. The most important thing is to keep your mind open to new ideas and concepts....people once thought planet Earth was flat!

2) Look out for the weird....something unusual happens? You can do two can trash the results that would screw up your error bars or you can try to replicate these "weird"result. By the way, if you need to refresh your statistical knowledge, the Bayblab guys have something for you.

"This should be encouraging news for those of us who don't consider ourselves geniuses. The best way to promote scientific success may be to maximize exposure to chance occurrence and events—especially those that have more upside than downside potential. So, don't just ignore those little inconsistencies that arise in your work, give them some room for consideration. This is something anyone can do, though it takes time and courage"

3) Take risks....ah...risks! Calculated risks maybe but risks are an important part of it. I suggest you buy a Magic 8 Ball if you are too scared. Chances are you will come up with news ways of analysing the situation!

4)Enjoy your work....nuf said!

5) Learn to say NO!...that is difficult. Here is a way to look at it: Saying NO is actually saying YES to other things! Ah...logic!

6) Learn the joy of writing and presenting. Open an account on Blogger and try to say things that make you look like a genius....Expose your ideas to other ones. CONFRONTATION!!!! Eventually, you will have to present something, so remember that practice makes perfect...just like your mother tells you (or used to tell you)

7) See the big picture. You are going somewhere with this new concept...right? Remember and, most importantly, understand the WHY...WHY is this important, WHY should someone listen to you for more than 5 minutes (or 5 seconds)...WHY????

You are now on your way to become the very best scientist this planet ever had.

Giddings MC (2008) On the Process of Becoming a Great Scientist. PLoS Comput Biol 4(2): e33. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0040033