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From the College of Natural Sciences


Dear Students,

Earlier this year I had the great fortune to attend a panel of female scientists at Explore UT called "Smart Kids: A Panel Discussion of Career Paths and Personal Journeys in Science." Meredith Walker, co-founder of Amy Poehler's "Smart Girls," moderated a discussion with our own Chemistry professor Dr. Kate Biberdorf, Astronomy graduate student Raquel Martinez and UT alum Dr. Gail Lewis.

One of the pieces that stuck with me was when Dr. Lewis pointed out that the word research inherently means failing—that you are quite literally re-searching for the answer. As scientists we understand that to a certain extent, but even if we can live that definition in the lab, we often have a hard time applying it to our lives.

So next time you're feeling like you failed at something, from missing someone's birthday to not doing well on a test, remind yourself that you're a scientist and you didn't fail, you found one answer that didn't work so you will re-search for a different answer. This is how progress is made in science and in life. Go forth and science.

Dr. Vanden Bout

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Saturday, 18 September 2021

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