Scholarly research is exciting and fun to do. Admittedly, some students, caught in the grind of daily and term assignments, may not see it this way. But for people who can carry on research in a more relaxed manner, for professors or students who can involve themselves in a long-term project, research may be a source of fascination and great satisfaction.
Francis’s preoccupation with DNA quickly became full-time. The first afternoon following the discovery that A–T and G–C base pairs had similar shapes, he went back to his thesis measurements, but his effort was ineffectual. Constantly he would pop up from his chair, worriedly look at the cardboard models, fiddle with other combinations, and then, the period of momentary uncertainty over, look satisfied and tell me how important our work was. I enjoyed Francis’s words, even though they lacked the casual sense of understatement known to be the correct way to behave in Cambridge. (Watson, 1968, p. 198) 1