Talk about being a scientist.
Let’s start with something easy.
Coffee, hard work, colleague group hugs when you’re down, laughing, crying, coffee again…
The top 3 moments of my life as a scientist (so far!):
- The day I got a message in my answering machine saying I had been selected for the PhD position.
It was a message on my phone from the professor that would become my supervisor, saying that they had chosen me, out of all applicants. It felt wonderful, to think of all the potential research I could have done! All the new opportunities just waiting ahead! It was like receiving a box with a big red bow, and inside find a great white sheet of paper and a box of beautiful colours, to draw anything I wanted to.
- The first time my research work was accepted to be presented at an international conference
As researchers, we are encouraged to share our work and to try to communicate it as effectively as possible. We are even scored based on how much impact our work has on the scientific community. Talking at a conference means an opportunity to travel abroad, and stand up in front of your fellow scientists and talk about your work, what could be better? Banning forever pineapple as a pizza topping, maybe (I’m Italian after all).
- The first time I realized I knew what I was talking about
Scientific knowledge is infinite to me. There is more being discovered every day, more technologies allowing us to look into higher detail into the infinitely microscopic. Despite our many years of studying (currently I’m in my 28th as a student or scholar of some sort), we know that we can only learn about one tiny portion of a field in a sea of amazing human knowledge. In this ocean of papers and notions, one day I was discussing a publication, and I realized that I felt comfortable doing it: I knew which authors to cite, what the most recent literature said, what views belonged to different schools of thought.
And there’s more to come…