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Re: What has inspired your research?

On 9 May 2010 18:41, Tor Bertin <nightimeshadow@yahoo.com> wrote:
> As somebody who has only recently (within the last year) re-jumped into the 
> paleontological world, this is something that I'm very curious to hear: what 
> sorts of things have inspired ideas for your past research ventures? Was it 
> through thinking about the literature, or something more anecdotal? What part 
> does serendipity play in the process?

An honest but unglamorous answer: reading bad papers.  I bet that 50%
or more of all published science has its genesis in "That's a bunch of
crap!  Someone needs to demonstrate how it's wrong!"  Happily, in most
cases, by the time the rebuttal paper nears completion it's greatly
changed and expanded from such negative beginnings, but I think that's
often the grit that gives rise to the eventual pearl.