Alertness to What Problem Can Be Solved with Unexpected Results

(p. 208) “Every scientist must occasionally turn around and ask not merely, ‘How can I solve this problem?’ but, ‘Now that I have come to a result, what problem have I solved?” This use of reverse questions is of tremendous value precisely at the deepest parts of science.”–NORBERT WIENER, INVENTION:THE CARE AND FEEDING OF IDEAS

Source:
Norbert Wiener as quoted in Meyers, Morton A. Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2007.

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