The Scientist’s Alphabet

Nikoletta Tsiarta (ESR14)

Each language has its alphabet, and this is what shapes the words and, consequently, the sentences, the paragraphs, and in general, the way of expressing ourselves.

Words are essential to make ourselves understood. We, as scientists, need to find the right ones to communicate the results of our research to the public in a comprehensive and catching way.

This time I wrote an article about a typical day of a scientist. I decided to describe the scientist´s life entertainingly using the alphabet letters in a certain way. In Greek, it is called “acrostikho”, or acrostic in English, i.e., a poem where the first letters of the sentences form the alphabet. Let’s begin…

A day starts with a cup of coffee/tea and checking your emails.

Be ready to organize your day and have a talk with colleagues.

Collect your energy and get in the lab.

Don’t let the chaos around to distract you; it’s just the beginning of the day!

Experiments are waiting to be done.

Focus on the tasks of the day, but don’t forget…

Gloves, lab coat, goggles are necessary. Safety first.

Head to the equipment and turn it on.

It will take a while before everything is ready.

Just be patient and keep working.

Keep in mind that the working surface should be clean.

Leave the materials on the bench and start mixing the solutions.

Make sure you follow the right protocol.

Notes are essential to keep track of your work.

Organize your time wisely; otherwise, the lab can replace your home!

Protect yourself from any accidents. The lab can be a dangerous place.

Quitting is not an option!

Results time…analyze your samples and proceed with the data.

Sometimes you fail, but it is vital to get up and try again.

Try to better understand the problem and approach it with a different method.

Use the literature to get more information and formulate your research questions.

Visualize your manuscript before start writing it. It helps!

Work hard without overdoing it.

Xanax can be helpful, but maintain the balance: it is extremely recommended.

You are almost there. Lab life is difficult but worthy.

Zoom zaam, the day is finished, and yet there more to come!

Having all said, I conclude that an alphabet is not enough to express the life of the scientist. There is so much more!

Maybe putting all the alphabets together will better reveal the blessings and curses of scientific life!

Until then, make sure to keep the positive ones and build on them.

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