Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Always give the bastards more credit than they deserve."

"[Feynman] never showed the slightest resentment when I published some of his ideas before he did.  He told me that he avoided disputes about priority in science by following a simple rule:  'Always give the bastards more credit than they deserve.'  I have followed this rule myself.  I find it remarkably effective for avoiding quarrels and making friends.  A generous sharing of credit is the quickest way to build a healthy scientific community."

Freeman Dyson, "The 'dramatic picture' of Richard Feynman," The New York review of books 58, no. 12 (July 14, 2011):  40 (39-40).

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