Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

David Packard Distinguished Lecturer


Melbourne G. Briscoe, Ph.D.

Office of Naval Research

Science, Technology, and People

Wednesday, February 6, 2002
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

This talk will be about three things that may seem quite disconnected: Pasteur’s quadrant, success factors for science and technology, and the Myers-Briggs type inventory. I will then pull these threads together, in an oceanographic context, and build on and borrow from what some others have said and written.

The approach will be to discuss some general ideas and then give some specifics. This could be frustrating to those who prefer to think in terms of the specifics first, and then let the bigger picture emerge from the details. This different kind of thinking is part of my message.

Punch Lines:

  1. Science and Engineering are symbiotic, not sequential.
  2. People are different—in particular, scientists and engineers are often different
  3. Uncontrollable external factors—serendipity and opportunity—are critical to success and in bringing technology and science to fruition.
  4. Don’t overestimate the impact of science on technology, and don’t underestimate the impact of technology on science.