What To Do If Your Love of Science Is Fading

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This is the Happy Scientist Podcast.

Each episode is designed to make you more focused, more productive,

and more satisfied in the lab.

You can find us online@bitesizebio.com slash Happy scientist.

Your hosts are Kenneth Vo, founder of the Executive coaching firm,

Vera Claritas, and Dr. Nick Oswald,

PhD Bioscientist and founder of Bite-Size bio.

Hello, this is Nick Oswald welcoming you to this bite-size bio webinar,

which today is a live episode of the Happy Scientist Podcast.

If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist,

you're in the right place With me, as always, is the bite-sized BioTeam,

Mr. Miyagi. Mr. Kenneth wrote in these sessions,

we'll hear from Ken mostly on principles that will help shape you for a happier

and a more successful career. And along the way,

I'll pitch in with my points from my personal experience as a scientist and from

working with Ken. If you have any questions along the way,

put 'em into the questions box on the side of your screen,

and I'll put them to Ken today.

We'll be discussing what to do if your love of science is fading.

Ken, what's going on with that one?

What a, what a somber thought. Your love of science is fading.

And yeah, it could be, it could be like falling outta love, you know,

just, just sad and melancholy. But it also could be a crisis. Like,

holy cow,

this has been the center of my life since I started to actually have thoughts,

and all of a sudden it's gone. What am I gonna do? Uh, yeah,

you may lay anywhere on that spectrum. Um, you,

you may have all that going on at once, and you may wonder, well,

now what am, am I supposed to just suffer this?

Is everything gonna come apart? Are other people gonna find out? You know,

what is gonna happen next if my love of science is starting to fade?

So we're gonna work through that.

We're gonna talk about some practical solutions that may,

that may fix that for you, but we can also, we're also gonna look at, well,

what happens if it's just how it is? And it's just not the same for you anymore.

So let's dig into that.

So the first question you gotta ask yourself about this,

and it's a good question to ask about a lot of things. Ask yourself,

is it really true? Is it really true?

That is a great question for, for inquiry. I mean,

from a scientific standpoint, it's a great question,

but when it comes to something like this that is more emotional,

more psychological, it is also a good question. So

when you ask yourself, is it really true that I don't love science anymore? Um,

you can, you can do some further looking into that.

So one of the things you might ask yourself is, well,

what used to excite me about it? Why did I use to, to love this?

And I'm using the word love here,

and I realize that could be a loaded term for some people. But the notion is,

what used to engage you about science? What is it about it that really drew you,

that really compelled you, that kept you in the game,

that kept you going when it was hard? And, and recall those things.

It it may change your present day outlook.

Another thing to look at is are there still things you wanna learn?

Um, if you feel like, well, you know,

I've just got a lock on this and there's nothing new under the sun, you know,

and it's not exciting. Yeah, that's, that's not gonna gonna ring your chime,

but are there still things that are open to you?

And chances are there are, I mean,

if you really feel like you have totally figured out your zone,

uh, and there's nothing left, you know, I mean,

write the patent office, tell 'em it's time to close, you know, just,

it's highly unlikely that that's true, that there's nothing left to learn.

The other thing then is what kind of future do you envision for you

in science and for science in general? How do you see this playing out? Um,

when, when you start to realize I could be part of something bigger,

I could have an impact, I could make a difference.

Well, that can reignite your, your desire to keep going.

So, you know, give yourself that these chances to, you know,

to personally reengage to get your intellect involved again,

if it's,

if it's start to wane and to start projecting forward

and seeing where, where does this go next? Now, if you're having,

if you're having feelings like, like, it, it just isn't exciting. And,

and it's not gonna be, I I was excited for naive reasons,

for childish reasons in the past, and that's all gone well.

It's something worth taking note of for you.

If you truly feel like there's nothing left to learn, you know, that might,

that might be not so much, there's no, nothing new to know,

but maybe you feel like your environment is keeping you from being able to

learn. And then we'll talk about that in a moment. And then of course,

if you don't have any excitement about what's coming next, that's,

that'll always stand in your way. And I don't care what part of your life that,

that that's involved in,

if that's happening where you just see no future whatsoever, um,

you definitely need to take a hard look at yourself and see,

is that really true? Is that really what's going on here?

So moving on to take this apart is,

it might not be that you've lost your love of science,

it's that you've encountered the real world and now

you're finding out there are parts of this that you don't like. So it's like,

I, I didn't realize how the lab was gonna become this machine,

and I was just gonna be a cog, you know, a cog in the wheel here. Um,

and that might've been a bit of wishful thinking, even a bit of naivete.

And now you're encountering politics. Like,

I didn't know this job was gonna involve politics.

I didn't know we were gonna be fighting over money. Um,

I didn't know the people I'd have to work with. I mean, I knew some people in,

you know, in the lab and university world, little hard to deal with.

But when I hit the real world, they're really hard to deal with. Okay, well,

we do have to toughen up a little bit and we have to get realistic,

and we have to grow up a bit. You know, we can't just fantasize.

I'm gonna run my own lab. I'm gonna do all my own things.

I'm gonna be a mad scientist that's gonna invent new things. Um,

it's, it's enough that you can't be all those things,

but there's a context in which that's gonna happen. And you have to be,

you have to accept that as part of the, part of the game.

It's, it's, it's, if all you had was puppy love for science,

then it would just be everything's perfect and it's all great. And it's like,

it's like that, that girl in third grade, she's so,

she's so pretty and she's so sweet.

And now you start to realize she's a human being. She's a person.

She's got flaws. She's not always nice. And,

and some days she wears that silly dress that I don't like. And, you know, okay,

you start having to change up how you feel about these things.

So any of us who've had any kind of relationships, uh,

we realize at some point you stop being,

you stop being Pollyanna about things. You see, you see them as they really are,

and you decide to still love 'em anyway.

And this can happen with a significant other. This can happen with a child. Uh,

you know, that,

that baby was so cute until they keep me up every single

night, you know, uh, science can be the same way.

So it's just a matter of just getting a bit more mature about it,

recognizing the context that's there, and then realizing, okay,

these are solvable problems. You know, the machine is the way it is,

and I can learn to deal with that. Or I can,

I can help make the machine better. You, you do have that option. Um,

politics is, I mean, that's,

that's gonna be true anytime there's people involved. It's,

it's part of the game. It doesn't have to be an awful game.

It doesn't have to be a brutal game. It's just, you know,

every once in a while I realize I gotta do a little,

I gotta flex a little to get what I want.

I gotta help other people get what they want. That's part of how this works.

You know, money is, money is always a,

a tough topic for people. I say always. It's often a tough topic for people,

but there's a lot of money in science and, you know,

you could get your share though, you know, get access to your share.

So don't give up on it. Don't just assume that, well,

now I gotta compete for that. I didn't see that coming. Well, yeah,

but now you see it, so see it and operate accordingly. And, you know,

other scientists,

they're not really any better at getting funding than you other than they get,

you know, some folks have gotten some experience at it, and,

and they've bothered to learn how, so you can bother to learn how too.

And then as far as people, I mean,

people are people you've been dealing with people your whole life. You can,

you can do it. You can manage it. So,

um, another thing you can do after you see all those things,

all those,

those barriers and all those extra weights on you that you didn't see coming

before, and you can look back and go, okay, wait a minute.

What is it that started this all for me? What flipped my switch?

What was it that one day I woke up and minute thought, man, I wanna do this.

This is, this is my fantasy. I wanna, I wanna play in this,

in this pond. You know, I wanna, I wanna play in this game and,

and do this. And you realize I could actually make a living doing this.

Somebody will actually pay me. I will,

I can have actually have a career doing this thing that I find so fun,

so compelling.

So you gotta go back and remember what got you involved in the first place.

You know, what, what made this so exciting?

And then on the flip side, you gotta look at it, okay,

what about the real world got in the way?

And is it really in the way? Or is it just,

there's a little bit more to it than I first anticipated? And and that's fine.

Don't beat yourself up about that. I mean,

how are you supposed to know that when you were sitting there in that first

chemistry lab in seventh grade,

you didn't know where this was all gonna head you, you couldn't,

you couldn't have imagined it.

So don't beat yourself up about the fact that you didn't see this all coming.

It, it's fine. And people are negotiating it.

And people that aren't any smarter than you aren't any more capable than you

aren't any better connected than you. I mean, you know,

everybody has certain advantages, but so do you, you know,

the fact is, you got this far, you gotta have something going on. And if,

if, you know, if you're a grad student or you know, you're a PhD,

you're a postdoc, I mean, let's face it,

you got something going on that most people in the world don't have.

And don't forget that, don't forget that you have past muster.

You have got this far. So just, just stick with it. You're,

you're already 99% of the way there.

Another thing you can do, even if you've done all this,

I looked at what got me here. I looked at what's standing in the way like that.

I'm still feeling, I'm still feeling wore down. And,

and I don't like that feeling.

Well look to others who have already passed through this that have already

succeeded. You know,

chances are you have the opportunity to get mentorship from somebody,

whether it's in your lab or in your industry,

people that you've known in the past. You know, it could be past professors,

it could be, it could be people you've met along the way that,

that are inspiring to you. Well,

look to them get advice if you can get to them directly.

But even if you can't get to them, sometimes you look at, well, there's,

I'm never gonna get to talk to this person or that person.

But often they're acting very much in the public.

So you could see what they're doing. You can, you can model them,

you can emulate what kept them there, what got them there.

And if they've managed to stay inspired and stay engaged

sometimes for decades, well, you can,

you can get engaged too. And it's okay to have low points. You know,

we have our ups and downs. We're human. It's totally normal.

Just remember that if you hit, if you hit a valley,

that is not how it always must be. Things ebb and flow.

So if you just give it a little time, it can pass through that. And,

you know, you, you can come out the other side.

Another thing to remember is you don't even have to look outside.

You can look inside.

Remember that you yourself have gotten this far in this game.

And, and, and look back. What worked for me in the past? Well,

how did I muscle through in the past? How did I get over past humps?

You know, uh, what did I do in the past when I plateaued?

You may realize, realize that when you do that self-examination,

you already have the tools to get you past this current one.

And you can do what you've done in the past.

And if what you did in the past isn't enough,

you can take that and use it as a springboard to get you to the next stage.

And yeah, sometimes it's gonna be harder than the last time. That's fine.

You, you've had a whole life of it being harder than the last time,

and you've gotten through it. So don't cut yourself. You know,

don't sell yourself short. Um, assuming that I,

I don't have any way out of this. I don't know what to do.

It's like you may find you do just,

sometimes we're running that loop in our head. You know,

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do.

And if you stop that for a second, you may realize, well, actually,

I do know what to do. I just don't wanna do it.

Or I do know what to do and it's gonna be hard, and I don't like hard,

but you know what? I've done hard. I can, I can do hard. I can, I can knuckle,

knuckle down and get through it. So again,

the self-examination is definitely worth it.

So now I'm gonna, I'm gonna address the elephant in the room.

What if it's really true? You know what?

This is just not what I thought it would be.

I've put in all this effort all this time.

I've got all this sunk cost in this,

and I just don't like it. I,

I just don't wanna do this. I don't want to be this.

And so now, now what? Well,

there's a lot of, there's a lot of, now what?

There's a lot of things to do post, um, lab-based science.

And, uh, I will, I will, uh, I'll poke at at nick about this here in a second.

But I just wanna tick off a few things that you could do. And then Nick,

I'll uh, I'll draw you in here. I'm taking, what's that?

I'm taking notes here. Okay. Well,

one thing you can do is you can move up the management. Yeah.

Maybe you're not gonna work the lab so much anymore,

but somebody who understands the lab has to run the lab.

So your skills were not wasted. Your,

your education and knowledge are not lost. It's useful.


maybe you just need to move out of academia and move into something more

commercial. 'cause there are, again, the same story.

There are plenty of companies out there that very much value the fact that


that you've gotten the scientific background and they need somebody with that

background to do other parts of the business side of this.

And you can move into that business side. They, there are,

there are definitely need for salespeople that understand science,

marketing people that understand science,

people that understand the, the financial realm, the,

the funding apparatus that's out there. 'cause they've been there and done that.

You know, these are all parts of things that are just

valuable commercial skills that you may not even realize you've already gained.

And it will allow you to shift gears and perhaps move into something that you

will find a renewed excitement in. But your background is still helpful.

Um, journalism, you know, if you look out at science journalism,

sometimes it, it,

it makes me sad because you wonder what some of these writers are doing.

They don't know what they're talking about, but some of them do.

And the ones that do really go places and they develop an

audience. And that might be very appealing to you.

So perhaps journalism is a path to go. We've seen

scientists become popular figures in, in, in pop culture.

Now, I, I'll grant you that there's not a lot of openings there,

but there are people that are doing that. They're taking science to the masses.

And whether they're doing it on, on talk shows or podcasts or writing books or,

or, or other things, perhaps that is a realm you wanna be in.

And maybe it's not even your full-time thing. It's something you do on the side,

but it makes it, it keeps it exciting for you.

And it may be the inoculate that solves the problem for you.

And maybe you're still gonna stay at that nine to five working in the lab,

but it's your side project that keeps you excited. So you can,

you can stay engaged in that. And of course, the final thing is,

you know what? You don't have to stay a scientist. If you decided that,

that you wanna become an artist, you wanna become a musician,

you wanna start a business, you want to do something completely different.

You wanna get on stage, you could do that.


don't make yourself think that I put in so much effort to get this far

in this field that I'm not allowed to set it aside and

do something else. You can, if that's really, really what you want,

don't let anybody tell you you can't keep yourself open to your

possibilities. And whether they're within science or outside of science,

make yourself a grand success in life. All right, Nick.

So now what?

Good question. Well, I mean,

one thing that I scribbled down there as you were delivering that wisdom,

which is lovely, uh, is when people say, I don't,

I found out love with science. What does that mean? What is science?

It's just a way of looking at the world. Mm-Hmm. When people, it's one,

you know, science, philosophy, religion,

politics or other, other sorts of ways of looking at the world and, um,

trying to figure it out, understand it, and make the world a better place.

Science is one pie, one chunk in there. And it, and it used uses logic,

use a specific way of thinking and examining the world and so on, right? Mm-Hmm.

And so when people say, when I say, oh, I, I, I,

I fell out of love with science.

I'm not talking about fun of love with that way of looking at the world.

I'm talking about, um,

that I'd realized that I wasn't very good at the green fingers part of science,

technically, you know,

getting those little bits of liquid into other bits of liquid in the right way

and so on, right? But I didn't mean that I, um,

that I wanted to step outside of that

macro realm of science. And I did something that you described, which is, I,

I decided that I wanted to make the machine better. So I did this. And, um,

which is to support other scientists in being better in their job, right?

So that's one very specific example, but I think it's worth examining.

And I think it's just another way of saying what you said, it's worth examining.

When you say you don't love science, what does that mean?

Because there are so many things you can do with a scientific background.

It opens so many doors and not just the research pathway. Um,

you listed off some, you know, marketing, sales that, you know,

traditional stuff. I,

I've seen people that have gone and become independent technical specialists

in, in a specific area helping, you know, they make their own,

um, you know, become so specialized in one technique and become, you know,

the guru or a, a major guru.

I've seen people who've done that and build their own machines, you know,

little in their garage or make a company, you know,

that build their own equipment and so on. Um,

I've seen people going into politics, art, communications, journalism,

as you said,

even ethics and philosophy and things like that from a scientific background.

It's, it's about like, okay, if you don't like the, the, the, the problem,

and I've discussed this in previous talks,

the problem when you go into a traditional scientific career,

you finish your bachelor's, you probably do a PhD or something,

and it's propelling you in a di in an expected direction,

which is towards a pi or maybe go into industry Mm-Hmm.

And that's seen as like generally the two roads.

But there's so many other things you can do that if you find that those roads

are not working for you, then you can do it.

There's lots of things you could do. That's, I would, one thing to stay open to.

Um, and the other thing is, again, as you said, one, one thing that,

that, you know, even if I did find I was quite good at science,

one thing I didn't like when I got into the lab,

and I think that other people can probably resonate,

this will resonate with them. I said, didn't like the games that some,

the way that some people played the game. Mm-Hmm. Um,

and if you go back to the, you know, your very beginning, you know,

the first few podcasts of this,

and we talk about mindsets or mindsets and stuff like that, you know,

there's the orange person who is competitive and there's the green person who is

there, or the blue person who's there for the team, you know, for team science.

And there's the people who are competitive, uh, for themselves. And, and,

and looking back, I saw the people that were, uh,

I was put off by looking at the people who were trying to compete for themselves

for the sake of winning. And, and that wasn't me. I was there for the, well,

let's do team science. Why aren't we collaborating? Right? And, but,

but realizing that you don't have to play it the way they're playing it, is,

is one way to get around that, you know, if you're in there and it's the people,

it's the mindsets that are putting you off.

It's to realize that you're maybe go and look back at that.

What do you remember what number of podcasts that is? Ken?

Uh, that, let's see, that would've been

Number two or three or something like that. Um,

That would've been, no, it would've been four through six, I believe.

Okay. Four or six. So look back in the beginning, uh, of our podcast series,

there's one about core mindsets. Have a listen to that.

And it explains different ways of playing the game. If you like,

Four or five and six were about core mindsets,

Okay? It explains different ways of playing the game.

And you might realize that the reason that you are,

that you're being put off by the people around you in the lab is 'cause they're

looking at things with a different mindset to you.

They're competing and you're playing team science, for example. Yeah, exactly.

And, and you, you know, you might try to persuade them to your viewpoint,

but chances are they're gonna stick with the viewpoint they have. And you gotta,

you gotta tough enough about that.

Some people are just gonna approach things that way.

Some people are gonna be very selfish. Some people are gonna be very altruistic,

even naively. So some people are gonna be very practical.

You're gonna encounter all types and, and you gotta learn to deal with it.

You gotta learn to manage, to interact with people of different styles.

And I think that one thing that I didn't appreciate at that time

was that to stay in science,

I don't have to play the game that way. I can still play it my way.

I can stay green or whatever, blue or green, and do it for teeth,

do it for the team and just,

and focus on being myself.

I don't have to become that person who's hyper competitive and, uh,

you know, and we'll do anything to win. I don't have to do that.

I can still be myself and contribute in my own way. So, um,

there's an interesting, uh, question in from, uh, and by the way,

if you have any questions on this or your own comments or experiences,

then please questions box here. Um, uh,

it's from someone called GL who's saying that they're a chemist and always

wanted to work in the realm of ideas and achieve that in chemistry.

But now they've started to realize that, um, things such as wider, you know,

wider lenses then such as,

or other lenses such as philosophy and art and stuff seem

of interest or, or the same or more interest, uh,

as sciences.

So chemistry seems to be narrow and dry and sometimes boring.

And so, and that, that's quite an interesting comment actually,

because that's someone who is obviously curious about the world.

Obviously pur pur pursued chemistry to try and

be part of investigating what all of this is and around us,

and has realized that there's more to it than science and which is quite,

what would you say about that, Ken?

Well, several things come to mind. One is,

I'm sure all your biologists out there is scared already, just here. Chemistry.

Oh my God, no wonder you scared. He wants to get away from it. You know,

chemistry is ex extremely exciting in its way.

It, and, and for the person asking a question. Yeah, you,

you may remember that, that it used to be that way for you. You,

you got that and it opened up a a new vista for you.

But now you've opened up more vistas. Well, good for you.

But you don't have to dislike your past vistas. You,

you can still find them interesting, but it's okay. Go ahead and add more,

do more. A couple of podcasts ago, uh, I interviewed, uh,

Dr. Brandon,

Jonathan who talked that on the topic of beauty in science.

It was, it's a beau, it's a beautiful idea. And,

and he's got his own podcast too, on this topic that just goes on and on. So I,

I would recommend check, check out that past episode. Check out Dr.

Jonathan and see what he has to say about this topic.

'cause you don't have to say either or.

It's not just the logic of chemistry and it is logical

or the, the beauty of philosophy,

it's, they're not mutually exclusive. They're complimentary.

So you've added more. So don't,

don't throw away part of what you already have. You're already,

you've already got the expertise and you've already got the,

you've already gotten deeply engaged in it. Don't,

don't make that something that is passe now.

And it's like if, uh, if you learn to play, you know,

cricket, for instance,

and then after that you learn to play soccer,

do you now start to hate cricket because you've learned to play soccer? No,

they're just different. They're, they're, you know, they, so,

so keep them both. Keep it all going.

See how this new interest in philosophy can

add to your knowledge of chemistry and add to your engagement there.

The parts that are, that you're des describing as say dry, that's just a,

that's just a value judgment. It's not necessarily dry.

There are plenty of people out there that continue to be very excited about

those things that you're writing off as dry. And you can,

you can do the same yourself.

So just recognize you.

You're passing through a recognition of a new thing.

But that, that initial recognition with its,

with its naive fantasy of how much better this is gonna be is gonna

pass. And then you're gonna realize, you know, there's,

there's a drudgery and philosophy that's just like the drudgery back in

chemistry. Um, but it's,

it's all just a story that you're telling yourself about it.

It doesn't have to be a drudgery,

just because for a moment it felt that way.

You can, you can keep going, you can, you can take it forward.

And then of course, uh, as we were talking about here near at the end though,

if you really have changed your focus, well,

maybe a time is time to shift.

Maybe you do need to move toward art rather than the hardcore science.

You can have that examination without risk. You don't have to.

You quit your job and then figure out what to do next. You know, you can,

you can spend your time thinking about this, investigating it, looking forward,

saying, what do I really want to do? 'cause the whole point of the,

this particular podcast, happy Scientists, we want you to be happy.

And if you can be happy in science, awesome.

But if your happiness is gonna require you to move on from science,

that's okay too. Just, just do it with eyes open. Do it with your heart open.

And, and then you'll, you'll make better choices for yourself.

What were the two sports? You said they're cricket and what?


Soccer. All right. So if you're play,

you play quick soccer because you want to experience,

you know how you're excited by the game,

you're excited by how improving your skill, skill level and, uh,

and whatnot. And then you take up cricket. It's just a,

it's another expression of the same thing.

But so is the same if you then decide to play the piano, right? Mm-Hmm. How,

how can I, what's my li what are my limits? How, how does this work?

And it's the same.

I I think that most people who take up science do it because they're inherently

curious. Mm-Hmm. And it's about, um,

using this way to explain the world. And I have the same experience.

I felt like as soon when I was in undergrad in undergrads, I felt a lot of,

I felt like my God, okay, gen, this is how,

this is how proteins expressed in this, uh, you know,

and it all started clicking together.

I thought this really explains how the world works to me,

evolution and all that. And then I got past it and it was like, well, okay,

great. That is one explanation, but there's more to it than that, surely.

And so then you can start looking into philosophy or,

or whatever else you want to do to follow that same curiosity.

Um, whether you do that professionally or not is another matter.

But professionally, you know, you don't need to be bound by

being a practical bench scientist,

or even by using your curiosity within the,

the wrapper of science. You can, you can, you know,

you can go to wherever that curiosity takes you. Right? And, um,

you know, again, that that's why people end up transferring from a small,

relatively small number, but transferring,

transferring from science into philosophy or, you know, being a,

or ethics or, um, you know, something like that.

Poli politics around science. Mm-hmm. Politics around science or the,

the governance of it. You know, what, what do, what,

where does your cur curiosity take you and where does

your, um, your natural ability take you? That's, that's the question.

And just Sure. Um, just see where, just explore.

That's what I would say. Um,

Okay. So yeah, you could satisfy it in simple ways. Like there's a,

a YouTube channel I really enjoy that is on food science. Now,

I'm not a scientist personally,

but I really do like to understand why do we do use this method in cooking?

Why do we do things in this order in cooking?

And the only reason I care about that is I like to eat.

I'm never gonna be a professional chef. I'm never gonna work in a restaurant.

I don't want to,

but it doesn't keep me from being curious about it and engaged in it.

And I can do that without taking away from what I typically do for a living.

And, and there's nothing wrong with what I typically do for a living,

but there's no food science in it. And that's not,

that is not some aching lack, it's just, of course, it only goes so far.

And the whole scientific method only examines that which we can measure.

There's plenty of life that cannot be measured.

Do we blow that all off? Or if we become aware of it,

does that somehow,

somehow make science less important or less valuable,

or No, it's, it's just different and it's fine.

You know, go ahead and add more. Uh, it, it just makes things richer.

So we have a, a, a question, and, um,

this person is saying that, uh, asking, uh,

so they're in the final year of their PhD,

and the situation is very pressured in terms of sexism,

racism in the department, and no doubt other sort of, uh,

academic pressures and so on. Um, they're saying that, um,

they don't want to be in science anymore because of this.

And so how can they survive the final year of their PhD knowing that,

Okay, well first off, I'm gonna question the premise.


do you really think you're gonna switch to some other area of life where those

things will also not be there? This is part of,

part of the reality of our society now. I mean,

that could be a hard, hard truth, right? But you don't have to accept it.

You don't have to, you know, you could be part of,

of the change because, 'cause you see it and you feel it so deeply.

So the question is just like,

you've made this huge commitment to science so far that, you know,

you're approaching your doctorate, you know, finishing your doctorate,

you can make that same kind of commitment to other things too.

And maybe you can be part of the force that changes things.

Maybe you can be one of the people that stops these things in

science. You don't have to change the whole world,

but you're already pretty deep in this one world.

You could be part of the solution. So use,

use these kind of experiences as a springboard to take you farther.

So the question that you gotta ask yourself is, do I,

am I really gonna toughen up?

Am I really gonna take on the hard stuff? Now,

I'm not saying you have to be Martin Luther King, you know,

I'm not saying you gotta be a martyr, uh, for the cause here. Um,

but can you do your part? Can you do a part, you know,

when I say your part, it's like, that's not defined in advance. It's like,

it's not like you have to be Mahatma Gandhi, you know? Um,

you have to be Mother Teresa. No.

Maybe all you have to do is be a voice of reason.

Maybe all you have to do is be the person that says,

I have a question. And you don't even have to solve it.

You just have to bring it up. And you can watch,

you can watch problems being solved. You can, you can be part of the mosaic.

So it, it comes down to,

to not telling yourself a story,

but just see things as they actually are. Some things are bad,

some things are deficient, some things are, uh,

you know, rub you the wrong way. Well see that,

because that's always gonna be, that's never gonna end.

That's always gonna be a part of life.

And the more you get good at dealing with that kind of

contradiction in the world,

the more successful you'll be and the happier you'll be. And,

and the more you'll help others.

It's a grand opportunity to be in service to others.

Yeah. That's a tough answer, but it's true. And, um,

the, the, the, i the also the idea of how do I get to the,

how do I survive this final year? Mm-Hmm. It's, um, I've been, yeah, let

You speak about that. I,

I've been there that, you know, if you're gonna have situation,

I almost left in the middle of my PhD several times.

I'm glad I didn't because I learned stuff about myself. But importantly,

I also got a PhD, which opened some doors for me. So, um, there's,

there's motivation in it for yourself in terms of let's just get your head

down and focus, get it done to get the,

the PhD and then see where you want to go. Um, but also,

as Ken said, open yourself up to, okay,

do I let these things drive me away or do I stand up? Um, right. And,

and what do I learn about myself when I'm doing them? And,

and I don't say that lightly because, you know, that sort of,

if it's bullying and stuff that's going on, that's, that's not, um,

not acceptable. It's not, um, it's not something that that should be happening.

But as Ken says, it can crop up anywhere and,

and it needs to be stood, stood up to or questioned. Um,

that that's the only way things change over the long run.

So that's the kind of wider service if lights were shone on that sort of thing.

Sure. And there are things you signed up for. You knew were gonna be hard.

You knew I'm gonna have to take MG 3 0 2, it's just gonna be a requirement.

And you knew that in advance,

but the things that make you the manual become the woman you'll become aren't

the things you planned for.

It's the things that got thrown at you out of the blue you didn't see coming at

all, and you decided, I'm gonna deal with this.

I'm gonna face this. I'm gonna pass through this.

Those are the things will make you the person you'll become.

And it's like what Nick was saying a minute ago, you don't know,

but that you're really gonna give yourself a tool you never knew you were gonna

need, but you'll have it now and you'll be able,

and it'll open doors for you and it'll make things possible and it'll give you

more options in the future. So, you know, don't cut yourself off from that.

So, on a related note, there's a couple of questions here from, uh,

our comments really, um, from Atu, um, saying, uh,

that they don't like politics and silent science. Mm-Hmm. And they,

the politics and science, and they think covid sucked away the life in science.

Okay. Um, and, and on one regard, I can see, you know,

yeah. Covid opened,

laid bare a lot of things in the world. And, um, Mm-Hmm.

Things don't look the same afterwards. And so, uh, and the same,

in a way, it's the same as saying, I don't like the politics and science.

Without politics,

science wouldn't exist because the funding wouldn't come through. Wouldn't,

you know,

scrambling for money in society is either about capitalism or politics and

Yeah. Um,

and so the politics has got to be in there with the way society is at the

moment. And so, um, it's a necessary part of it. So, um,

how do you deal with it? Do you just walk away from science then,

or do you help to make the political aspect of science better?

Or do you, um, do you just carry on regardless doing your science,

regardless of the politics and take it as a kind of, uh, as a, you know,

a unnecessary part of life or something like that? There's not,

there's ways to deal with it, but just because you are, um, I don't know,

because your wife snores at night doesn't mean that you have, you know,

that you shouldn't stay in the relationship. You know what I mean?


Yeah. And, um, and not all of them are not all of the Yeah. Not,

not everything is solvable. I think that's the way I look at it.

Yeah. The other thing is, you know,

how much will will you put up with before you give up, before you go home,

before you know, you just forget about all the,

all the positives and all you look at are the negatives. Yeah. If,

if all you're doing is, is thinking all day long about,

I hate this and I, and I can't stand that. And, and it,

this should be different. And, you know,

when we're doing all of this fantasizing about if only

the world looked the way I would've liked it to be,

yet look at the world the way it is. And the same,

it's just like when you're doing your experiments and you're getting results,

you don't blow off the results.

You look at that data and then you, then you adjust from there.

You gotta do the same thing when looking at the, the political world.

This is how it is.

So operate from that point instead of, I wish it weren't like this.

'cause that doesn't get you anymore.

Yeah. It feels like that was a rather dark episode.

I completely, I totally disagree.

I think this is a very positive thing to, to drive down to.

What is really true is as scientific as it gets folks,

you have this,

you have a lock in this that is uncommon in the world will make use of

it. Don't just use it, you know,

when you're pipetting liquids into liquids, right?


Use it all the time. It's,

it's gonna make your career better and it's gonna make you happier in that

career. Yeah.

Okay. Uh, if there are no more questions or comments,

then I think we will. I'm outta stuff. Are you Ken? Yep. Yep.

Okay. So we've reached the end of our time today. Thank you, Ken,

for some wonderful insight as usual. And to you

Well thank you Nick, for the practical insight.

No worries. And thanks to you, the audience for listening in,

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