Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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106 I Dialogue it is the same kind of systematizing. Every time you get a nice new tool there are some puzzles you can solve. Kimball: Is there any way of identifying the quality in yourself that makes you so successful in this kind of enterprise? Eyring: I would think that I have a facility for seeing analogies. And I am not easily deterred by criticism. I do chemistry to suit myself. I am glad if other people like what I do, but fundamentally I do it for my own understanding. I think I get along well with people so others like to work with me. I have had the privilege of training and directing no Ph.D's. By and large, I think of chemical research as my collaborators and I pitted against the complexities of nature. I never make my students do something alone if I know how to help them do it more easily. I do not put them on little jobs to find out how smart they are. I think they sense this attitude and give maximum cooperation. Kimball: Can you tell whether someone is going to be a good chemist when you meet him? Eyring: There are some factors I look for. One is whether he reacts quickly. You can talk with him and tell whether he sees things and grasps ideas. But he has to be more than bright if he is going to be a good scientist. He also has to be interested. That takes longer to discover, but you can work with him for a little while and find out. Unless he just gets lost in his work and feels that knowing molecules is like knowing people, he probably won't get far. If he is a time server, if he just likes to work eight hours and then go do something else, he won't change the world. There are unsuccessful bright people who are so overcritical that they cannot even stand their own creativeness. Being critical slows down creativity because when you first get an idea, it generally does not come full-blown like Athena from the mind of Jove. If you are horrified because it is not perfect to begin with, you may abandon it. To be a successful scientist, it is often useful to be a happy muddler. Kimball: Do you ever publish papers that you are later embarrassed about? Eyring: Not that I am embarrassed about, but that perhaps I should be embarrassed about. I have published over five hundred scientific papers, frequently with collaborators. I have written nine books, also with collaborators. And I have been editor of about twenty annual reviews of physical chemistry, and co-editor of eleven volumes of physical chemistry. No, there is no paper I am ashamed of, because at the time it was written, it was the best we knew. I have no apologies. Each paper was the best I could do at the time. That I was not born smarter is really not my fault. Maybe as important as anything in whatever success I have had is the ability to go ahead continually without worrying whether other people like what I do. If an idea is wrong, it will fail; if it is right, nothing can stop it. I would say the same thing about the Church. The gospel, I am convinced, is