Editor’s Preamble to the Profile of Oliver Smithies
This profile1 of Oliver Smithies highlights many of the qualities of a great scientist: a down-to-earth, unassuming style (remember “the smaller the mind, the greater the conceit” as I wrote last year in my preamble to Eric Olson’s profile2); simplicity; an enduring passion for discovery and invention; and total commitment to the work.
Smithies’ statement that there is no substitute for hard work is one of the absolute truisms of life, as I elaborated last year in my preamble to Robert Lefkowitz’s profile.3 No matter how smart you are, if you don’t work hard, you will never make it. He is a living testimony of this concept. All of us should be astounded and inspired by the fact that this 85-year-old scientist, a Nobel laureate who has contributed so much to human knowledge, still works in the lab every day of the week, runs experiments, and exudes the same passion for science that he exuded 60 years ago. What a marvelous role model for young scientists.
Smithies has used wisely the talent that he was given. Isn’t that one of the most important things that we should be able to say about ourselves?
This Editor’s Preamble was originally published as part of the interview with Oliver Smithies for the Circulation Research series Profiles in Cardiovascular Science. The original article is available online at http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/108/6/650.full
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
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