The Sassy Scientist – Niche Necessity

The Sassy Scientist – Niche Necessity

T-Low feels a little insecure whether that specific niche of the broad spectrum of science merits all of the effort put in:

Every now and then I’m starting to wonder if my little branch of science is really worth doing? And if not, which one is? And why?

Dear T-Low,

Stay doing what you’re doing. Even if you feel a little bit underwhelmed by an apparent lack of interest sometimes. Don’t let your mind turn around on you like that. It isn’t worth the energy. You should rather put that energy into that little branch of science you decided once – probably with a worry-free and yet-unwearied mind – will bring you the satisfaction and perhaps even joy you required. Remember, many great minds have struggled by not drifting down the mainstream and tried their luck going up an irky, little tributary that peeved them by its mere presence. Discovering a whole new twig with many smaller spurs. Twigs large enough to sustain whole university departments nonetheless.

Why would one want to drift down the mainstream anyway? Aren’t there enough astronomy addicts already? Or biomedical lab bums? Nano-material nuts, climate change crazies, biology buffs, DNA devotees, mind maniacs, physiology fanatics, letter loonies, chemistry cranks, physics freaks or animal aficionados? Do you really need that Science or Nature paper to make your scientific career worth while? Perhaps you should change research topics. Is an expert journal, that actually buttresses your little branch of science, good enough for you? Channel some more water, sunlight and resources into that twig and make sure it grows. Nurture it and you may extend science’s crown. Refine the canopy of knowledge. Peddle up that tributary until it’s nothing more than a little creek and you have to trundle up to the spring yourself.

To all (persons, thoughts and feelings) that give you the idea that your efforts are in vain, make sure that those actions are futile. Perseverance is a virtue most commonly found in scientist in the wild. However lonesome such roamers may appear, every now and again there are more howling at the moon of desperation. Even out of sight, you’ll never be alone.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written as part of our own little sprig of science. Perhaps this sprig will grow and branch out itself?

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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