“Bond,” James Bond . . .
Unfortunately being a scientific researcher is not like being an international spy with nine lives, out there saving the world. But fortunately, it is more realistic and has led to discoveries that have impacted our daily lives.
In about a month, we’ll have been trying for 2 years to carry out what sounded like a simple task – labelling cancer cells so that we can track them and see how they spread. The unique way we’ve been trying to do this has never been done before. At first we thought it was because no one thought of it. Now, we’re beginning to wonder if maybe it’s just too hard. But we’re not giving up.
Research can seem boring and pointless, when nothing seems to work. Thomas Edison didn’t see himself as having failed a thousand times before finally succeeding at inventing the light bulb. He said that it was just an invention with a thousand steps. Well, even though it’s been two years, working at the same problem, we can’t say that we’ve failed a thousand times.
If you’re someone who has to get results every time and can’t tolerate things not turning out as you had planned, then research is probably not for you. Indeed, so much is learned from experiments that don’t work. In fact, many great discoveries were by-products of “failure.” To be a happy scientist, one has to love the search itself. I love seeing how God’s amazing creation works. Even if we don’t make the discovery we’re hoping to make, I will have no regrets, because the journey has been so eye-opening and wonderful.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.Psalms 139:14
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