Our desire to learn the secrets of celebrities’ success is indisputable. We try to aspire the qualities of famous successful people by reading their books, learning their biographies, and observing their life. Fortunately, sometimes the icons share their secrets themselves, and every common person may learn them. It is even more surprising when outstanding scientists share their thoughts with audience. That is why the book “Avoid boring people” by James Watson, the significant figure in the world of medicine and molecular biology, arose a huge interest in both common readers and professional scientists, becoming a subject of major discussions and arguments. In the current paper we will discuss this book and try to summarize its main ideas.
James Watson, the outstanding American scientist, has devoted his life to vital researches in molecular biology. He explored the structure of DNA and reached certain success in this area. His discoveries in molecular models and genome became a true sensation in biochemistry – the scientist has received multiple honors and degrees, and more than twenty awards, including National Medal of Science and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
However, the most significant achievement for James Watson was Nobel Prize in Psychology or Medicine, which he received in 1962 for discovering double helix of DNA and nucleotide base pairs with two of his colleagues. Watson wrote several books about his works since 1962. However, in the 2007, at the age of 79, James Watson wrote his first book that was not related to science.
“Avoid boring people” is guidance to the world of science from inside, autobiography, and the psychological secret advices the same time. In this book, the author shares the experience he gained during his brilliant career, focusing on the social and psychological aspects of behavior. Therefore, the book can become interesting and useful for both young scientist who only start their career and for readers from non-scientist areas who want to succeed in modern competitive world of business.
Containing very little scientific details, the book is full of historical facts, tracing the entire career of James Watson. With precious examples fro his own life and professional activity, the author gives essential advices to follow while choosing your behavior in whatever field. Watson suggests useful rules for every age based on his own experience. For instance, the lessons he’s learnt in childhood may appear very valuable for all of us who want to shape their character from the early childhood. For me this chapter was the most interesting part of the book. To my mind, these lessons can be easily applied to person of any age as well as any professional area. For example, the rule for children “Avoid fighting bigger boys or dogs” sounds rather funny and inapplicable for grown-ups. Nevertheless, I have transformed it to useful advice “Always be realistic assessing your skills”.
Following this amusing approach, I have found several effective rules for life: “Never be flippant with teachers” turned to “Be wise enough to consider subordination”, and “Find a young hero to emulate” transforms to “Set high goals to achieve”. The advices I made up out of Watson’s childhood lessons present a good guidance for every serious person. Therefore, even the least significant thoughts of an outstanding person like James Watson can be very useful.
Apart from rules and advices to follow, the book “Avoid boring people” contains many practical and intriguing details from the scientist’s life. We learn that in order to build a successful career one should comply with a great number of certain unwritten laws, especially within a competitive world of scientific institutions. It is even more relevant for those who aspire recognition in such controversial area like medicine or biochemistry. Moreover, for young scientists who dream to win Nobel Prize the book will become a precious conduct instruction. Although the book arose certain critique – indeed, the “Double Helix” was much more valuable work of James Watson – the book “Avoid boring people” is worthwhile for everybody. However, any book written by Nobel Prize winner would be worthwhile for me.