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All great work is the fruit of patience and perseverance, combined with tenacious concentration on a subject over a period of months or even years. Many illustrious scholars have confirmed this when questioned about the secret of their creations. Thus, it is clear beyond doubt that great scientific undertakings require intellectual vigor, as well as severe discipline of the will and continuous subordination of all one's mental powers to an object of study.

Two emotions must be unusually strong in the great scientific scholar: a devotion to truth and a passion for reputation. The dominance of these two zeals explains the entire life of the investigator. Only the scholar is expected to fight the current, and in so doing alter the prevailing moral climate. It is important to repeat that his/her mission is not to adapt his/her ideas to those of society; instead, his/her mission is to adapt those of society to his/her own. And in the likely event that he/she is correct and proceeds with disciplined confidence and a minimum of conflict, sooner or later humanity will follow, applaud, and crown him/her with fame.

Adapted from Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Advice for a Young Investigator, Madrid, 1896

The people of the State of Guanajuato, located in the geographical heart of the Aztec country, have in different ways sponsored both of us and provided us with the willingness, endurance, scientific training, and basic characteristics necessary for scientists, as noted by Cajal, that outstanding mythic figure of Spanish science. They have made the writing of this book on colorants possible and so the authors dedicate this book with great pleasure and gratitude to all Guanajuatenses, who have assigned to science and scientists an importance beyond all expectation.

Francisco Delgado-Vargas Octavio Paredes-López

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