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Interview: "Trust intuition, try new things" are keys to success: Nobel laureate Arieh Warshel

English.news.cn   2013-12-07 10:21:13            

by Fu Yiming

STOCKHOLM, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- "Trust your intuition, and try new things" are the keys to success, said Arieh Warshel, 2013 Nobel laureate in chemistry, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Friday.

Warshel met with Xinhua journalist in central Stockholm, where a busy Nobel week just started and will culminate in the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and the Nobel Banquet on Tuesday.

As an Israeli, Warshel is proud of his national identity which nurtured him the unique Israeli intuition: "knowing there is a way to do things and finding out how to do it."

Warshel pointed out that Israelis also like to improvise, "if they don't have all the parts of something, they would take it apart from something else -- they could build an airplane from a tractor."

It is essentially his "way of thinking and doing things with intuition and improvisation" that has contributed to his success.

"My style of doing things has mostly been the Israeli style of improvisation, trying to guess how to do something and go and do it," said Warshel.

In retrospect of his research career to the great design of powerful programs that are used to understand and predict chemical processes, Warshel emphasized that being "rebellious" is helpful in doing science.

Classical and quantum physics, both with systematic advantages and disadvantages, have be applied separately to chemistry for decades. It is Warshel, together with his colleagues, who pursued something different, taking the best from both worlds and devised methods that use both classical and quantum physics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decided to award the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Warshel, Martin Karplus and Michael Levitt, for their joint "development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

"Successful people are those who usually do the opposite of what everyone else is doing," said Warshel, "because you could be the best in doing what everybody else is doing, but then it would not be new."

Talking about young people who are inspired by his success and who are determined to contribute scientifically to the welfare of human kind, he said being creative, with independent thinking and willingness to take risks are the key to success.

"Try to do new things, not to get discouraged when told what you are doing is wrong, just trust your intuition, like the intuition that has guided me so far!" said Warshel.

Editor: Luan
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