I just finished watching the movie Particle Fever, about the decades-long race to get the CERN Large Hadron Collider up and running. It’s a fun little documentary that ends up being 2/3 suspenseful “will it work” drama and 1/3 particle physics science. I enjoyed it, because since I know next to nothing about physics it gave me an opportunity to watch scientists as a layperson.
Two things I noticed. First, physicists seem more philosophical than biological scientists. Often, at least in the movie, they reflect on the implications of their work towards the meaning of life. How often do we deal with science in biology that brings us to that level of existentialism?
Second, I was watching one of the professors in the movie, Savas Dimopoulos, and while he was making coffee, he dropped the following quote, “Jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm is the big secret to success.” I love that quote.
All this week I’ve been thinking how I could get two possible results from an experiment I’m planning this week. One is exciting, and one would leave me with a dud. But I completely agree the secret to succeeding, and enjoying science is the desire to ask the next question regardless of the answer to the immediate question.