“Arguably, the cleverest people make the worst mistakes in front of complex problems, problems that exceed any single person’s capacities, for they are more likely to overestimate themselves and fail to consult and cooperate. One version of this insight comes from James Watson. He and Francis Crick identified the structure of life –the double-helix structure of DNA– at Cambridge University in 1953. Years later Watson reflected on why they won that scientific race. The reason, he said, was because they were not the cleverest in the race. As a result they did not rely on their own brilliance alone; instead they consulted intensively. We can call this the Watson principle. By happy coincidence Watson is the name of Sherlock Holmes’ less than brilliant companion, Dr. Watson, so the principle is easy to remember.”
Picture taken at Museum voor Communicatie, Den Haag.