One day at a scientific meeting Dr. Becker was presenting some truly revolutionary results he had obtained in his experiments on limb regeneration. He had 12 minutes to describe the background of the project, the methods, the data, and his interpretations. During the 3-minute period for questions from the audience someone said to him, “It looks like you weren’t able to grow much tissue.” He replied, “I realize that the amount of new tissue was not enough for the rats to be able to play the guitar, but the important point is the quality of the new tissue, not its quantity.”
At another meeting someone asked him about the device he had used to produce the new tissue. The questioner criticized his answer, saying that the device was absolutely the wrong choice. Dr. Becker asked, “What should I have used?” After the questioner specified his particular choice, Dr. Becker said, “We also used that one, and our results were the same.”
Making scientific discoveries is like swimming upstream; most scientists just float downstream.