Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Today is a good time to reflect upon the life of Dr. King and remember his goals of justice and equality for all...

You have a unique contribution to make to the scientific community. Scientists come in all races, all ages, and all nationalities. The stereotype of the wild-haired, fair-skinned, eccentric male professor is just that -- a stereotype.

Don't let someone else define you. I had the unfortunate experience of having a respected professor refuse to work with me during my time in graduate school because I professed a desire to start a family. My guess is that he believed -- wrongly -- that you can't be a mother and a student at the same time. I could have trusted in what he told me, but I chose not to. Instead, I found new professors to guide me through school (both are dedicated dads) and I carved my own path as a pregnant graduate student (I believe that was a first for my program).

Don't be afraid to turn some heads. That's where scientists go -- to the crux of the problem, the heat of battle. Roll up your sleeves and dive in. The world is waiting for you.

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