How To Choose a Good Scientific Problem
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- Choosing a problem is an act of nurturing.
- Problems can be easy/hard and can have small or large gain in knowledge.
- Easy/small knowledge gain: to get started
- Easy/large gain: postdoc or 2-5 year project
- Hard/large gain: long term (10 years or more)
If you were the only person on earth, which of these problems would you work on?
- Take enough time to choose a right project.
Work Breakdown Structure because the Work remaining will grow until you have a Breakdown, unless you enforce some Structure on it.
Other factors to consider
- Aim to save lives.
- Research on emerging technologies that have limited application right now or are out there but too expensive for mass scales.
- Start with employer, industry sector or product category in mind to narrow down your choices.
- Alon, How To Choose a Good Scientific Problem, Molecular Cell (2009), doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.013