I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2018 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: INSPIRE
I am inspired by people, especially young women, who don’t give up even though they face entrenched resistance.
I edit the Sigma Chi (Scientific Research Honor Society) SmartBrief (please take a look here and consider subscribing!). It is FULL of interesting stories; I learn something new every day.
Yesterday, one of the stories was about a parasite that takes advantage of another parasite (it’s a vine that sucks the life out of a gall on an oak tree, thereby depriving wasps of food). It was an interesting story in its own right, but I loved the fact that Linyi Zhang, the graduate student who made the discovery, did so after repeatedly being told by her advisor that she must be mistaken:
When she brought the first samples to her advisor, who had spent many years studying galls, he told her she must be mistaken. She persisted. Relenting, he examined the material under the microscope – only to be startled to discover she was likely right.
I was in a situation this week that had much less importance to the scientific world, but it had importance to my integrity and my confidence. I didn’t win that particular battle (which was sort of hypothetical by the end — it was a language thing and was not going to affect the outcome of the publication). However, as this graduate student found out, believing in yourself and continuing to make your case matters.
Giving up can be as destructive as a parasite on another parasite.
I am inspired.