1.10 Strategy, the Right Questions, the Right Tools and Gamesmanship: Lessons on being a Scientist from Professor John Norman

Monday, 28 April 2008: 11:45 AM
Floral Ballroom Jasmine (Wyndham Orlando Resort)
Charles L. Walthall, USDA, Beltsville, MD

The training of a scientist involves more than the conveyance of technical information and technical skills. Knowledge of the philosophy of science, understanding the “business” of science, and resourcefulness are essential, yet rarely conveyed through formal classes. These are instead, shared via the mentoring process and collegial associations. Students and colleagues of Professor John Norman have learned much from what he has studied, and how he has conducted his research career. Developing a strategy for a research agenda, the art of asking the right questions, stepping outside the bounds of convention to build new tools for data collection, and how to conduct oneself as a scientist and prosper, are among the lessons learned from Professor Norman. The timelessness of these lessons is illustrated with examples from his former students and colleagues.
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