Becoming a Successful Scientist: Strategic Thinking for Scientific Discovery

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Overview

Scientific research requires both innovation and attention to detail, clever breakthroughs and routine procedures. This indispensable 2009 guide gives students and researchers across all scientific disciplines practical advice on how to succeed. All types of scientific careers are discussed, from those in industry and academia to consulting, with emphasis on how scientists spend their time and the skills that are needed to be productive. Strategic thinking, creativity and problem-solving, the central keys to success in research, are all explored. The reader is shown how to enhance the creative process in science, how one goes about making discoveries, putting together the solution to a complex problem and then testing the solution obtained. The social dimension of science is also discussed from the development and execution of a scientific research program to publishing papers, as well as issues of ethics and science policy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521513616
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2010
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Loehle is Principal Scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement. His published work has spanned topics including forestry, ecology, conservation, statistics, simulation, climate change and optimization. He is the author of Thinking Strategically (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

1 A science career 1

1.1 Why science? 8

1.2 The life of a scientist 14

2 The inner game of science 23

2.1 Strategic creativity 24

2.2 Discovery as a process 52

2.3 Strategic problem solving 64

2.4 Reality check 80

2.5 A matter of style 104

2.6 Attitude: the inner strategist 117

2.7 Strategic thinking exercises 125

3 Scientific discovery in practice 130

3.1 Problem finding 132

3.2 Analysis: tools of thought 149

3.3 Solutions: getting a grip 173

4 The social dimension of science 208

4.1 Conducting a research program 208

4.2 Ethics 214

4.3 Publishing 221

4.4 Science informing policy: the myth of objective science advice 227

5 Summary: the strategic approach to science 238

References 245

Index 248

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