Scientists Undervalue Meticulousness By a Lot

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


According to a note in Nature, honesty and curiosity are the most highly prized traits among scientists.

That’s all well and good. I’m also happy to see perseverance and objectivity on the list. Also humility, attentiveness, skepticism, courage, and willingness to collaborate. But I’m a little dismayed that meticulousness barely even cracked the top ten. Most of the greatest scientists in history were extraordinarily meticulous: Newton, Darwin, Galileo, Feynman, etc.

Meticulous attention to detail is how you turn all that curiosity and perseverance into lasting results. It’s also how you maintain your objectivity, your humility, and your skepticism. I hope that in their daily lives, scientists value meticulousness more than they do when they answer survey questions.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate