I read Darwin’s autobiography when I started my PhD and I liked it a lot. I found it by chance last week and I read its less than 100 pages again. It’s simply amazing to be able to read what Darwin thought about himself. I share a few thoughts here, but I recommend its reading insistently. First is cristal clear that part of the success of Darwin was a curiosity driven instinct. But it worths nothing to me that a will to put his name among top scientists also contributed a lot in his endeavour. Do not be ashamed to cultivate both things then! Another thing that I loved is how he puts data always in front and uses a strict scientific method. It’s also cool to se how geology is his main field during most of his life, and not biology. In fact, I think he approaches biodiversity as a geologist (more used to the idea of change) and this is key to think differently. Also note that investing at least 4 years in a given project was the norm. That gave him the chance to refine the theory and get the best of it. Luckily for him, not a publish or perish culture yet. Other passages about his life, how chance is involved in his Beagle enrolment or how he judge his wits are also cool to read.
Happy new year!