It is remarkable how many students, young faculty, and even senior faculty hanker after a Nobel Prize. Somehow, they think that it is possible to structure their scientific careers so that the culmination will bring this much sought-after honor. Some even think that as a Nobel laureate myself, I may have the key to success—some secrets that I can share and so greatly improve their odds of success. Unfortunately, I must begin by disappointing everyone. There is only one path that should be followed. It is summed up in Rule 1, but some of the other Rules may prove helpful—or if not helpful, then at least amusing.
Emerging evidence indicates that dragons can no longer be dismissed as creatures of legend and fantasy, and that anthropogenic effects on the world's climate may inadvertently be paving the way for the resurgence of these beasts.
My drinking partner, it turned out, was something of an authority on these lizards of legend and he insisted that there was more to the creatures than just a few fantasy tales involving knights in shining armour. To prove his case, he produced a scrap of paper (which I later recognized to be a betting slip that had lost him a fair amount of money) on which he scrawled a convoluted set of instructions. He grabbed my arm and said: “Take this to the British Library and follow the path.” He tightened his grip. “But tell no one of the route, that must remain a secret. Oh, and don’t back the favourite in the 2.30 at Haydock Park tomorrow.”
Intrigued I agreed to his demands, and he pressed the crumpled paper into my palm, necked my drink and walked out of the pub. I could do nothing but follow his instructions, and so it was I found myself ensconced in the darker recesses of the British Library the following day, following his instructions, which led me to a handwritten text hidden inside an old book. Although I am sworn to secrecy over the exact location of this text, I can tell you what it said.
Written in typical shorthand, it appeared to be an original page from Samuel Pepys’ diary. The paper had clearly been ripped from another book and at some point had been screwed up and probably thrown away, as it was very creased and somewhat stained. The text was relatively short and, to my surprise, I found that my hand was shaking as I copied it down. Having translated it from the shorthand, this is what I saw