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Coming first feels like such a big achievement. Getting the next position, no matter in how difficult an activity or a pursuit, can leave pangs of regret or failure. In cut throat competition especially in scientific research, there are prizes for only the first one. If one loses in the race, the funds can be cut off or years of research might seem like a big waste. It should be then quite crushing to realize that one has been beaten in a race to the first position. Pleasantly, that wasn’t the case when two famous geneticists Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner discovered that what they were trying to decipher – how are genes coded – for more than eight years was found by someone else. Their response was joy rather than disappointment and reflected their splendid attitude as Brenner explained – “…then we could get on with more important problems”.
http://nautil.us/issue/21/information/the-thrill-of-defeat

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