Advice for a Young Investigator


Santiago Ramon y Cajal was a mythic figure in science. Hailed as the father of modern anatomy and neurobiology, he was largely responsible for the modern conception of the brain. His groundbreaking works were New Ideas on the Structure of the Nervous System and Histology of the Nervous System in Man and Vertebrates. In addition to leaving a legacy of unparalleled scientific research, Cajal sought to educate the novice scientist about how science was done and how he thought it should be done. This recently rediscovered classic, first published in 1897, is an anecdotal guide for the perplexed new investigator as well as a refreshing resource for the old pro.

Cajal was a pragmatist, aware of the pitfalls of being too idealistic—and he had a sense of humor, particularly evident in his diagnoses of various stereotypes of eccentric scientists. The book covers everything from valuable personality traits for an investigator to social factors conducive to scientific work.

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Preface to the Second Edition
  3. Preface to the Third Edition
  4. Preface to the Fourth Edition
  5. 1. Introduction
  6. 2. Beginner's Traps
  7. 3. Intellectual Qualities
  8. 4. What Newcomers to Biological Research Should Know
  9. 5. Diseases of the Will
  10. 6. Social Factors Beneficial to Scientific Work
  11. 7. Stages of Scientific Research
  12. 8. On Writing Scientific Papers
  13. 9. The Investigator as Teacher