The art of perseverance

The only aspect I like about cleaning my apartment (or my car!) is to see an immediate effect of the energy I’ve just invested. In Science, we often invest all our heart, our brain (many organs involved actually)…all our energy for years before we see first results. Sometimes science feels simply like the art of perseverance.

Evaluating fish videos that we recorded in Zambia.

Without any doubt field work is the most exciting part of my work but most of the time I sit in front of my computer (apparently with a horrible posture). That’s what most scientists do most of their time in fact. Not so romantic hey? For example I’ve spent about 700 hours watching fish videos and quantify their swimming patterns.

My friends and family know that I am the most impatient person on earth so a valid question is: how do I survive doing my job since so many years? The answer is: I don’t know but I just love it! That’s the cool part. The challenging part is that especially junior researchers are under constant pressure to deliver results in the form of scientific publications. Publications are our currency and without them it is almost impossible to survive in this competitional world of science.

Cozy evening after a long working day

What helps a great deal is to know that we all struggle with similar problems. Having a beer together with my colleagues and chatting about science or about other aspects of life is always a good medicine if a day has been frustrating or simply very long. After all I still think I am blessed with the best job in the world (unless there are people getting paid for petting koalas). Cheers for tonight. I hope you are all well!!!! Keep safe!

Published by caribiologist

Postdoc at the University of Basel, Switzerland

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