Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Krugman on Research

Paul Krugman, who recently won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, has a piece online discussing his approach to research, which he boils down to four basic rules:

1. Listen to the Gentiles

2. Question the question

3. Dare to be silly

4. Simplify, simplify

(By (1) he means "Pay attention to what intelligent people are saying, even if they do not have your customs or speak your analytical language.") I think they are very good rules for approaching problems; the pressures to violate them are immense, and I think that, whatever our fields, these pressures must be resisted.

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