How hard do you need to work?


Nobel Laureates give some surprising insights into the relationship between hard work and success in scientific research.

Type of Activity

working independently



Age Group

Undergraduate to Teacher


These videos were filmed as part of the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative.
how-hard-do-you-need-to-w... RSC Recommended


  • Paul Nurse explains the dangers of working too hard. 
  • Bruce Beutler talks about hard work in science, and the many rewards of being a scientist. 
  • Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein answer the question: Do scientists need to work long hours?
  • Paul Nurse talks about whether scientists need to work long hours in the lab.
  • Elizabeth Blackburn gives advice on achieving a good work-life balance, and not being daunted that it looks like you have to be doing everything at once.
  • Tim Hunt answers the question: Is it important to be fully immersed in your work? He considers the relationship between hard work and success, and the value of informal chats.


These videos are from the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative's (NPII) YouTube account, which can be found here. The NPII is a global programme designed to help Nobel Laureates share their inspirational stories and insights with the worldwide scientific community, and especially with early career scientists.