Between Science and Sanity

Today’s post deals with some psycho-social aspects of science based on observations which I made during the last few years. In every scientific career comes the point when you are fed up with this sh**. Actually, this happens on a regular basis:

  • When you are an undergraduate, confronted with the naked truth that working more and harder doesn’t necessarily correlate with the quality of your results.
  • When you are a PhD student, learning that having interesting and reproducible scientific results doesn‘t mean that a journal is ever going to publish them.
  • When you are a postdoc, wondering if the decades of studying and sacrifice will ever pay off.
  • When you are a group leader, realising that science will never kiss you good night or make a tea for you when you’re sick.

Working in science can be incredibly frustrating but nothing beats the feeling when an experiment finally works out (and shows what you wanted to prove), your manuscript gets accepted, or you receive the grant you applied for. I guess, beeing a researcher is more than just a job. People who are good at it, do it out of idealism, passion and the believe to change something. I have the feeling that no job could ever thrill me like science does – it can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Many people struggle on this long, stony way and not a few pay with their sanity. I also had to take a little detour to realise that I really want to do research and which perspectives it offers to me:

  • the possibility to develop something from which patients could benefit some day
  • the contribution to common knowledge and education
  • a life full of learning
  • getting to know smart and inspiring people
  • a dynamic way of life, which enables you to see a lot from the world
  • doing something meaningful

XOXO, Your Nerd

Author: I.

PhD in Biology, specialised in epigenetics