Do not do basic science as a mean to an end, do it because you really love it. There are easier ways to make a living that are less competitive and less difficult. If you choose a career in science, choose it almost like you choose a religion. Be prepared to work extremely hard. Science is not a nine-to-five job. When you enter an academic environment, you should come not only because of the research, but also because you want to play a role in educating the next generation. In here, education matters. Finally, one must always have the courage to try completely new and outrageous things. They are inevitably the most exciting and have the biggest reward.
Prof. Robert J. Birgeneau,
Dean of the School of Science, MIT.