This is going to be a rather soft question, I am not completely sure it is appropriate for this place. But still.
In your opinion, how important is the presence of strong curiosity (passion for research) in a researcher for him/her to become very successful in science? Here I mean really big success (like getting top awards and/or reshaping a research area significantly) and really in science (not including management achievements, or high numbers of supervised successful PhDs or things alike).
There are many people doing research who consider (or start to consider after a while) their research-related activity as "just a job" like, say, an engineering or a carpenter one, just with a different range of required activities. So these people are not driven by a strong feeling of curiosity. Sometimes they are very hardworking and get a lot of important results, but I am not sure they get to the top (in fact, I just do not have enough data to judge).
So a second part of my question (and partly a clarification of the first one) is: do you know
- examples of people who got to the top and did not have curiosity?
- examples of people who are very curious, stay in research for a long time, but did not get to the top? (better if such person is somewhat known so that his/her biography could be found)