Peebles Princeton Press Conference

Here I am in the Departure Lounge of Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 ready for a quick trip to Poundland. To fill in a few minutes before my flight I thought I’d post this video of the press conference held at Princeton University upon the announcement of the award of a Nobel Prize to Jim Peebles. It’s full of interesting things but I particularly liked this quote:

My advice is not to aim for prizes and awards. They will come or they won’t. Don’t judge your career by their number, by the count of prizes. We’re in this for the joy of research, the fascination, the love of science. That is the reward really…

Don’t judge yourself by the awards. Judge yourself by how well you have done, and do your best.

For me that sums up the whole reason for being a physicist. Even those of us who have no chance of winning awards or prizes and whose achievements are at most modest can still feel the joy and the love of science. That is the reward.


One Response to “Peebles Princeton Press Conference”

  1. Phillip Helbig Says:

    Jim also said:

    “I remember being startled when I was told that you could be paid for doing this.”

    While I agree with his “don’t aim for the awards”, that’s easy to say when one has (had) such a job as his, which is itself a huge award. Like when Bob Kirshner joked about not getting a share of the 2011 Nobel Prize, doing the maths he probably earns about the same amount per year. Of course, the Nobel Prize is an honour in addition to the money, but I think that he’s done pretty well for himself even without the prize, as indeed Jim had done.

    More seriously, many young researchers looking to Jim for advice might find that they can’t get paid to do this unless they aim for awards. 😐

    Extra credit: name three cosmologists whose first two given names are Phil(l)ip James.

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