Great innovation requires understanding and appreciating the concept of elegance as it relates to solving important problems. An elegant solution is one in which the optimal outcome is achieved with the minimal expenditure of effort and expense.
An elegant solution is recognized by its juxtaposition of simplicity and power. The most challenging games have the fewest rules, as do the most dynamic organizations. The most memorable films have a simple message with complex meaning, touching a universal chord while allowing multiple interpretations. An elegant solution is quite often a single tiny aha! idea that changes everything. Finally, elegant solutions aren’t obvious, except, of course, in retrospect.
Elegant solutions are all around us, waiting to be discovered. But they’re no easy challenge. Elegant solutions require a working knowledge of the forces at play, and obstacles in the way.
Devising and performing a scientific experiment is an art, and it is common to hear scientists talk about the 'beauty' of an experiment. In some cases the beauty lies in the clarity of conception; sometimes it is a feature of the instrumental design. But for chemistry, there can also be a unique beauty in the way atoms are put together to make new molecules, substances not known in nature.