Tuesday, April 19, 2005


A scientist I deeply respect has suffered a major defeat in the academic world. He is one of the brightest and most honorable faculty members I've ever met. He was a hot young scientist, a true pioneer. Yet he made some bad decisions and has lost a prestigious appointment and a wealth of scientific funding this week. His loss is a potential career breaker.

I lost sleep last night thinking about him and what he'll do next. Then I read an e-mail that he sent out to his research group. It went something like, "I refuse to feel disheartened... I am honored to work with all of you and am proud of your achievements. I would like to take you all out for an anticelebration toast. We will show our resiliency."

Suddenly I felt better. What a class act. Despite suffering a major setback, he still remains committed to his team and the work that they are doing. I realized that this scientist will recover in no time. There's no need to worry about him.

I think we can all learn a lesson from this scientist. It is in our darkest hour that we must raise our glasses in anticelebration and demonstrate to those around us that we believe in them and ourselves.


Blogger Jen said...

Wow! With an attitude like that, I'm sure his career won't be broken for good.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post. We need spirits like that.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually in science it is the asshole who generally gets ahead. Hopefully his mistakes were not to piss off the wrong people because then he might be done. Hopefully the quality and value of the work being done will show his worth. I know that my works lack of both those really shows mine.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I wish the scientist well and thanks for sharing. I was recently reading some material on the other side of HIV/AIDS and discovered that those who go against mainstream dogma also lost their funding no matter how good they are/were. It sounds like the scientist will once again find his way. It appears being a research scientist is a dog eat dog world.

6:47 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

cynthia: Actually, if you have data to support your radical hypothesis, it is usually pretty easy to get your funding. It's only when you have a radical idea and no data to back it up that you lose out. But it's still a dog-eat-dog world out there, that's for sure.

7:19 PM  
Blogger lbja said...

I think the attitude is not only applied in doing science. It is a more mature interdependent response to "failure", which is always there but is also the seed for success.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Holly Desimone said...

Good Day/Evening Tedrow Drive,
Thank you for posting the comment about music on my blog, I just read you have approx. 30 on the list! I have maybe 40 on the list, listening, hearing music keeps my mind fresh without any explanation! Your post about "Anticelebration", science, human spirit is very interesting. Nothing would be achieved without desire in our human spirit. The spirit within us, sometimes soul driven to find answers. Logic, does not provide answers to the equations of a scientific world, and mind. After all is Science not an ART of it's own! Hope you drop by again! Have a great week, Sincerely Holly D

2:09 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I absolutely love this post. Luck to the scientist and his future endeavors.

3:38 AM  
Blogger Hoagie1 said...

I shall have a drink for the scientist.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Raine said...

Now there's a man with proper perspective. Wish I could have a bit of it, myself.

5:54 PM  

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