Venki Ramakrishnan: I think the most essential quality is you have to be curious and interested.  You have to want to know the answer, and you have to be interested in the problem.  If you’re not interested in the question, you’re not going to spend all those long hours of drudgery trying to get at the answer.  Even — whether you’re doing theory or whether you’re doing experiments — a lot of science is tedious.  It involves just getting the job done, doing a lot of grunt work.