I'm going to meet a big scientist. What should I say in the first meeting? I want to impress him and become a friend of him so that I can do common projects with him.

Please help me. It is the most important meeting in my life.

Information about the meeting: He is going to attend a conference in his country and I'm going to attend the conference, too. I want to go to him, say hello, and speak about his works. I'm a Ph.D. student in physics.

  • 2
    To be clear, you want to become a professional colleague, not a personal friend, right? One is expected, the other could be, well, creepy.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


A good way to start could be drumming up a short list of concise, but interesting questions you might ask him about his work. Then try to connect it to your own work or tease out how your interests going forward actually build on this idea. You can try to ask if he/she'd be interested in collaborating, but big names are notoriously hard to get a hold of, even for their own students, let alone other students outside their wing. Don't know if this is the case for your field, but I'm fairly sure it's a common problem.

A more realistic expectation at this point would be for you to (1) pique his/her interest and ask if it's alright to keep them updated about your project or keep in touch with his/her work. (2) Begin the project on your own, and keep them updated when you've demonstrated a good amount of progress (and success!) in the project. (3) Then, down the road, they'd be more interested/motivated to collaborate on a paper.

Good luck!

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .