When teaching ethics at our school of public health, I sometimes refer to public health activities as forms of “tinkering.” This does not make me popular. After all, the definition of tinkering, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (2010), refers to “attempts to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect.” Those who tinker are tinkers, historically associated with those who used to travel from place to place mending metal utensils as a way of making a living. Particularly among young public health students, these descriptions fly in the face of their budding self-image as future professionals aiming to improve population health by means of rigorous scientific methodologies. Changing the world, yes. Tinkering, no.