My success in solving scientific problems I think is the result in part of a
quality, or two qualities that I have. One is that of being able to formulate or discover
problems. The other is that of being able to make a decision as to what problems I might
be able to solve, and which I probably will not be able to solve, so that I don't waste
time on those.
Whenever I hear something new, I try to fit it into the picture that I have already formed of the
universe. If it fits, well and good, I don't need to worry about it. But if it doesn't fit
in, then I ask, Why doesn't it fit in with my ideas about how
the universe ought to be operating?" I'd better try to
find the answer to that.
So then I can ask, "How well is my background of knowledge and experience such
that I have a reasonable chance of finding the answer?"