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Tired of science - nothing seems to work as hypothesized


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#1 netron

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:05 PM

Reading papers in Science and Nature, you find every paper has a perfect story--everything has worked out as the authors expected/hypothesized. But in reality, although you have a brilliant hypothesis and are 100% sure things should work this way, when you run experiments to test it, you neither only get things to work in one or two cell lines or cannot get them to work at all. I don't think I am a stupid guy, why don't I have the luck to succeed? I am really tired of science.

#2 bob1

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:15 AM

Don't worry! This theme is common to all biological systems... even those Nature papers have (often) taken years to get the results to work properly and ensure that the stuff is correct. Lab work never goes as smoothly as it would seem from the papers, it is typically done partially ad hoc, with a bunch of different, seemingly unrelated results finally fitting together with one or two final experiments that make sense of it all, a bit like a jigsaw really..

#3 netron

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:07 PM

Yes, I agree. Behind those pretty story, there are always lots of trials and errors, and frustration. But eventually they got there. So I guess I have to keep trying.

#4 Inbox

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:13 PM

Reading papers in Science and Nature, you find every paper has a perfect story--everything has worked out as the authors expected/hypothesized. But in reality, although you have a brilliant hypothesis and are 100% sure things should work this way, when you run experiments to test it, you neither only get things to work in one or two cell lines or cannot get them to work at all. I don't think I am a stupid guy, why don't I have the luck to succeed? I am really tired of science.


Me too same story. But I have decided to work like machine. No hard feelings at least for Research. Lets see how long it goes.................

#5 Trof

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:17 PM

Actually thinking things will 100% work this way is a first step to have a frustated life as s scientist. That's why they are called hypotesis, we don't know if they are true, we test them, if you got too excited about the fact they WILL work (instead of the fact it MAY work) you will naturally get frustrated and finally burned-out very quickly. Because there is no 100% success in any story, even less in any Science or Nature paper.

Get excited by the possibilities, not certainities, leave your mind open for for the fact, this one hypotesis won't be proven right, so you can immediatelly think of a new better one. Get excited by the fact you are uncovering the mystery, not by the fact you will get the one answer you want to hear. That's a science. Does it work? Excellent, so this hypotesis is true. Doesn't? Excellent, that means you got new piece of information you can use, new theory to make.

Other question alone are technical problems, you can't even prove anything, because you can't get the experimental system to work. Now that is frustrating, because it stands in the way of getting any knowledge. But in this way you come to analyse the problem, become the problemsolver, break it into pieces and work on each one to finally find the key, or just step aside and find incredibly simple solution out-of-the box. New source of excitement and contentment. Or sometimes you don't find any, you finaly need to give up and let go. But there are sure challenges that can't be answered now, and maybe they will be in the future.

You need to find a constant way to motivate yourself in this job. Because there sure are days of frustration, but you also need to have days when you're excited. And sometimes, when sou are so tired.. then the only thing that still takes you further is the restlessness and obsession, well.. that's the time to take a vacation Posted Image

Our country has a serious deficiency in lighthouses. I assume the main reason is that we have no sea.

I never trust anything that can't be doubted.

'Normal' is a dryer setting. - Elizabeth Moon





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