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Advice for a Young Investigator

ISBN-10: 0262681501
ISBN-13: 9780262681506
Edition: 2004
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Description: This text, first published in 1897, is an anecdotal guide for the perplexed new investigator as well as a resource for the old pro. It covers everything from valuable personality traits for an investigator to social factors conducive to scientific  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/27/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

This text, first published in 1897, is an anecdotal guide for the perplexed new investigator as well as a resource for the old pro. It covers everything from valuable personality traits for an investigator to social factors conducive to scientific work.

Santiago Ramon y Cajal was among Spain's greatest scientists. A century ago, his work laid the foundations for the field of modern neuroanatomy. In 1906 Ramon y Cajal shared the Nobel Prize with the Italian anatomist Camillo Golgi for the development of the revolutionary neuron theory, which established the neuron as the basic unit of the nervous system. Born in Petila de Aragon in rural northeastern Spain, Ramon y Cajal was a bright but restless child and a poor student. His father, a surgeon, apprenticed him to a barber and later to a carpenter because he showed little academic promise. Both of these apprenticeships were failures. Surprisingly, Ramon y Cajal was admitted to the medical school at the University of Zaragoza, graduating in 1873. Upon receiving his license to practice medicine, he went to Cuba and worked as an army surgeon. In 1875 Ramon y Cajal returned to Spain, married, and became a professor at the University of Zaragoza. There, he began his neuroanatomical research, which became his main interest. Soon after, he was promoted to the rank of Extraordinary Professor and then to the directorship of the University's Medical Museum. In 1887 he became Extraordinary Professor at the University of Barcelona. In the following year, he published his first significant work on the nervous system, an analysis of the structure and development of the cerebral cortex. In 1892 Ramon y Cajal accepted the position of chairman of the Department of Histology and Pathological Anatomy at the University of Madrid. In 1922 he formally retired from the University but continued to conduct research, teach, and write his final book, The World Seen at Eighty: Impressions of an Ateriosclerotic.

Foreword
Preface to the second edition
Preface to the third edition
Preface to the fourth edition
Introduction
Thoughts about general methods
Abstract rules are sterile
Need to enlighten the mind and strengthen resolve
Organization of the book
Beginner's Traps
Undue admiration of authority
The most important problems are already solved
Preoccupation with applied science
Perceived lack of ability
Intellectual Qualities
Independent judgment
Concentration
Passion for reputation
Patriotism
Taste for scientific originality
What Newcomers to Biological Research Should Know
General education
The need for specialization
Foreign languages
How monographs should be read
The absolute necessity of seeking inspiration in nature
Mastery of technique
In search of original data
Diseases of the Will
Contemplators
Bibliophiles and polyglots
Megalomaniacs
Instrument addicts
Misfits
Theorists
Social Factors Beneficial to Scientific Work
Material support
Having a profession and doing research work are compatible
The investigator and his family
Stages of Scientific Research
Observation
Experimentation
Working hypotheses
Proof
On Writing Scientific Papers
Justification for scientific contributions
Bibliography
Justice and courtesy in decisions
Description of methods
Conclusions
The need for illustrations
Style
The publication of scientific works
The Investigator as Teacher

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