Venki Ramakrishnan: There’s lots of failure along the way.  You try ideas, they don’t work, and you have to say, “Okay, that didn’t work; I’m going to try a different tack,” and so on.  So it requires, first of all, a real curiosity and passion to know the answer.  That’s a given.  Then it requires patience.   You have to be able to tolerate failure and so on.  It requires a little bit of optimism, some mental strength. I joke that there are no pessimists in science.   In my lab, there will always be what we call “Eeyores,” from Winnie the Pooh, people who are always complaining.  But those people are not pessimists because if they were real pessimists — they’re just whiners — if they were real pessimists, they would have left the field.  They would, because it takes a lot of optimism that, “Oh well, things will eventually work out.  I don’t know how, but it’s going to work out.”  So that’s the feeling that scientists need to have.  I think collegiality and willingness to ask for help, I think it’s a very important aspect of science because you shouldn’t be embarrassed not to know something.  Ignorance is not a sin. I would say my main strength is I’ve never been embarrassed to ask for help from colleagues or even my students and postdocs and so on.  I think that allows you to overcome stumbling blocks.  People will give you ideas or that sort of thing.