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In investigating the proposition that creative ability is crucial to the conduct of successful scientific research, the author assessed creative ability and scientific research competence for each member of a total sample of sixty-four scientists, selected from a large sub-unit of a state university and an independent research laboratory. The expectation that creative ability would be strongly related to manifest research competence definitely was not met: no direct relationship was found between the two variables. The possible moderating effects of scientist interpersonal competence were then examined. The principal conclusion drawn from this study is that there are additional psychological, social, and organizational variables whose interactive properties affect the translation of inherent creative ability directly into creative performance.