Most valuable trait for a scientist or engineer?

  • #1
neanderthalphysics
53
6
If you had to pick a character trait that was most important for you in your scientific or engineering career, what would it be?

For me, it would be humility, which includes the willingness to accept that I don't know stuff, willingness to learn new stuff and the readiness to admit if I made a mistake.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2022 Award
18,135
10,966
Perserverance
perseverance
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Haha
Likes TonyStewartEE75, hutchphd, BillTre and 1 other person
  • #3
berkeman
Mentor
64,124
15,327
Curiosity (don't worry about the cat)...
 
  • Like
Likes Wrichik Basu, BillTre and Klystron
  • #4
DennisN
Gold Member
1,934
6,113
I don't know which I would think is most important but perserverance and curiosity are good traits, I think.
I would add "commitment to the scientific method", if that can be considered a trait :smile:.
 
  • #5
gmax137
Science Advisor
2,276
1,917
How about "comfort" using mathematics?
I mean simple algebra and trigonometry, not the math-major group theory and isomorphisms on n-dimensional manifold blah blah blah...

When I was in grade school we had "word problems" (such as, if a man can dig a 20-yard trench in 6 hours and a boy can dig 12 yards in 8 hours, how long would it take 3 men and 5 boys to dig a quarter mile..."). If you hate those kinds of problems (and lots of kids did hate them), I think you won't enjoy science and engineering.
 
  • Like
Likes hutchphd and BillTre
  • #6
gleem
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
2,084
1,512
Imagination.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

― Albert Einstein
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre, berkeman and neanderthalphysics
  • #7
hutchphd
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2022 Award
5,336
4,499
Honesty
 
  • Like
Likes pinball1970, gmax137, DennisN and 2 others
  • #8
Tom.G
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,686
3,438
I vote for:
Curiousity, Creativity, and the enjoyment of combining them.

Also, getting satisfaction out of solving a problem helps a lot.
 
  • Like
Likes pinball1970, Astronuc, DennisN and 1 other person
  • #10
DaveE
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,815
2,470
Working well with others. No one does this stuff alone.
OTOH, this also applies to Doctors, Plumbers, Chefs, Teachers, Pilots, Politicians, Accountants, etc.
So maybe this one doesn't count here, even though it IS the most important thing.
 
  • Like
Likes pinball1970, DennisN and BillTre
  • #11
Jarvis323
1,035
907
Happiness, liking what you do, or believing in the value/impact of your work.
 
  • Like
Likes DennisN and BillTre

Suggested for: Most valuable trait for a scientist or engineer?

Replies
4
Views
484
Replies
50
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
115
Replies
2
Views
321
Replies
80
Views
2K
Replies
86
Views
2K
Replies
20
Views
490
Replies
10
Views
498
Top