Ode to Scientists

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"How did the research go?"

"I found out two more ways in which the reaction doesn't work." I'm going to be positive, he thought, I'm going to think positively. I'm going to talk like Thomas Edison.

"Wow, you're being really sanguine, so optimistic and all."

"Okay, fine. I'm sick and tired of trying to produce some random chemical. Everything isn't going well. One minor misstep and I'd have wasted an entire morning worth of effort. A bit of air in the flask and the experiment's bye-bye."

He paused, collected his thoughts and began to talk again. "Actually, I gained a greater appreciation for scientists. They work with poisonous chemicals. They stay awake at night, troubled by research problems. They aren't discouraged by failures. And look at how comfortable our lives have become. We have painkillers and air planes and iPhones."

It is so easy to take the science around us for granted. Few people know the discoverer of Panadol. They may not even know the name of the life-saving, arteries-unclogging drugs that they're taking.

Lessons learnt:
1) It is easier to be appreciative of scientists, once we have to work like them.
2) We should be grateful for the labours of our forebears and also, the people around us.

Marie Curie, the lady who discovered radioactive compounds 
(and died from radioactive poisoning).

Being a scientist isn't easy at all.


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