Monday, March 3, 2008

The Scientists' Mantra

I've been thinking about mantras lately.
Something to say to myself when I need that extra push.  Something inspirational, motivational, something that helps me to focus.  Not being in a recovery program, not ascribing to a particular religious view, and being moderately poor at yoga, I don't know any mantras.  So, I did what any laptop dependent adult would do in my place, I googled it.  More specifically I googled the scientists' mantra, thinking I'd find a inspiring message floating about in cyberspace. Unfortunately we scientist apparently are rather uninventive when it comes to such things.  The motley crew of mantras that I found follow:

Scientists need freedom in pursuing their research.
-Well true, but I find this rather lacking in inspiration and motivation.
First learn what others have done.
-A good message, an especially important one for us young scientists venturing in to new territory, but still not very mantra-like.
Anything that can be measured by statistics or quantified is by definition the right way to do things. 
-Well, I'm fairly sure this was meant to be insulting to scientists.
More research is needed.
-Very Blah.
There is value in basic research.
-Hmmm, better.  Could be especially good if you thought your research was rather rudimentary in comparison to others work., but still no winner.
Discover, develop, deliver.
-Would appear to be a commercial catch phrase, which by definition eliminates it from mantrahood.
Science for scientists.
-I really hate this one, "Science for all" would be much better.
A scientist is an objective observer and interpreter.
-Now, this one has potential, still doesn't have that powerful mantra-feeling, but it's definitely growing on me. 

And that leaves me still searching for that inspirational, motivational scientists' mantra.  Hmmm, something about the value of our work, and changing the world..... I'm working on it.

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