Most valuable trait for a scientist or engineer?

Main Question or Discussion Point

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

phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,564
5,211
Perserverance
perseverance
 
Last edited:
berkeman
Mentor
56,088
6,139
Curiosity (don't worry about the cat)...
 
1,384
2,723
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:.
 
1,550
560
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.
 
gleem
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
1,507
889
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
 

Related Threads for: Most valuable trait for a scientist or engineer?

  • Last Post
2
Replies
47
Views
7K
Replies
68
Views
9K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
18
Views
3K
Replies
5
Views
745
  • Last Post
2
Replies
27
Views
8K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
3K
Replies
16
Views
3K
Top