When I don’t know what I’m doing

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”   — Wernher von Braun

Yep, it’s been one of those days with novel mistakes and general fumbling-about-ness.  I can’t even claim that I was doing anything new and exciting — ti should have been routine but wasn’t.  Ah well, that’s science.

The quote from von Braun sometimes feels like my theme song for grad school.  It’s a good reminder that I’m no more incompetent than the next researcher.  So much of my research is using techniques that my lab isn’t familiar with or set up well for, protocols I have to alter significantly for my needs, and quite frankly stuff I’m making up as I go along.  There’s a fair bit of feeling stupid involved.  I’m just glad it’s mostly the sort of stupid that comes because I’m venturing into unknown territory.

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1 Comment

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One response to “When I don’t know what I’m doing

  1. Good to know I’m not alone using techniques my lab isn’t familiar with or well set up for and, you know, feeling stupid and stuff. I also shared that von Braun quote with another grad student friend of mine and they said it gave them hope and, for some reason, inspiration 🙂

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