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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering


4.  Research is a State of Mind

Musicians     Research is done in much the same way. Our work can either be the effort of a group or of individual specialists. In fact, just like a good orchestra, each man must be a skilled and talented individual. There is one outstanding difference, when we compare Orchestras with Research - Research has no Mozart score to follow - we are working with un­written scores. The procedure must be different in nearly every case. It is more like composition and per­formance at the same time.

Industry     For many years there has been much misunderstanding as to just what Research is. The popular con­ception seems to be that there is something mysterious about it, and before any Research can be done it is necessary to have expensive scientific apparatus and large, elabor­ately equipped buildings. Actually, this is not so. Research isn't a phys­ical thing at all but just a state of mind. It is a simple organized way of trying to accomplish something you wish to do - so simple that anyone can do Research anywhere at any time.

     First, you select the problem you would like to solve, then you list at least ten reasons why this has not been solved. But in picking that prob­lem be sure to ana­lyze it carefully to see that it is worth the effort. It takes just as much effort to solve a useless problem as a useful one. Make sure the game is worth the candle.


- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

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