Whenever I tell people that I want to pursue a career in biomedical research, the first thing they say is “I can’t see you stuck in a lab all day.” To them, the lab is sterile, quiet, all white walls and black countertops. A laboratory, in my eyes, could not be more different. Those walls and countertops give witness to exploration, discovery, and innovation. While little kids fantasize about becoming an astronaut and zooming through outer space, researchers travel to inner space, learning more and more about the universe that exists inside every one of our trillions of cells. If we found a far off galaxy that harbored life, every form of media would hail this discovery as groundbreaking, changing life as we know it. Yet everyday scientists across the globe work diligently to piece together the secrets of life on this planet and these heroes go unsung. The headlines remain quiet, crickets chirp over the radio waves even as these scientists save lives with their snippets of knowledge that bring us steps closer to novel treatments, cures, eradication, and a greater quality of life.
“I can’t see you stuck in a lab all day.” To them, the lab is sterile, quiet, all white walls and black countertops. A laboratory, in my eyes, could not be more different.
curiousSCIENCEwriters ignores warnings of what is “taboo” or “not interesting” and salutes these deserving heroes. Our writers challenge the stereotype that laboratories are boring places filled with boring people, revealing to the world a colorful universe with a diameter one tenth of the thickness of a human hair. This organization understands that science does not dehumanize, but rather provides something vital to human survival: hope. Hope for a mother whose baby was born with a congenital heart condition or a father diagnosed with end-stage cancer; hope for a grandparent facing Alzheimer’s disease or a spouse with ALS. That hope is a message we have the responsibility to spread, not just within the science community, but throughout the entire world, regardless of education level. Perhaps our article can comfort a loved one, hearten a survivor, or inspire a budding scientist like myself.
Working with curiousSCIENCEwriters has given me hope, hope of being able to make a difference. It is highly unlikely that I will receive a Nobel Prize along the course of my career, but the magic of research is that even among thousands of failures, all it takes is one success to impact millions of lives. Now, when people wrinkle their nose and tell me that I am not cut out for the life of a researcher, I laugh instead of second-guessing myself. I know that it is part of my purpose on this earth to spread hope. When I start my first semester at Johns Hopkins University in the fall, I will not only be joining the first American research university, but a community of exciting discovery, ingenuity, and most importantly, hope. I will be continuing the mission that curiousSCIENCEwriters started while watching what started as a local platform blossom into an international beacon of hope.