Ibsen's dictum "minorities are always right" cannot be correct: minorities seldom agree, so they cannot all be right. It would be more correct to say that "majorities are always wrong—partially if not completely." In the past, when research was usually a part-time job or a hobby, scientists were less apt than they are now to follow safe and fashionable lines of work. We were less specialized and moved from subject to subject in a manner that worried grant-giving committees then, and would today make them seriously question a candidate's commitment.

I probably changed subjects more than most. Nevertheless, in spite of a poor memory (when compared to the memories of my friends Bawden, Bernal, Miles, Haldane and Synge) and little manual dexterity, I moved reasonably smoothly along the scientific pecking order, while getting out of any subject as it began to get crowded. Such a system, or lack of system,...

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