At a seminar in the Bell Communications Research Colloquia Series, Dr. Richard W. Hamming, a Professor at the Naval Postgraduate
School in Monterey, California and a retired Bell Labs scientist, gave a very interesting and stimulating talk, You and Your Research to an overflow audience of some 200 Bellcore staff members and visitors at the Morris Research and Engineering Center on
March 7, 1986. This talk centered on Hamming’s observations and research on the question “Why do so few scientists make significant
contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?” From his more than forty years of experience, thirty of which were
at Bell Laboratories, he has made a number of direct observations, asked very pointed questions of scientists about what,
how, and why they did things, studied the lives of great scientists and great contributions, and has done introspection and
studied theories of creativity. The talk is about what he has learned in terms of the properties of the individual scientists,
their abilities, traits, working habits, attitudes, and philosophy.