Life after science

I was born in a small town in Belarus on the border with Russia, and now I live in Manchester, UK. I came to the UK first as a PhD student and then after giving birth to my son In Belarus as a ‘highly skilled migrant.’ In 2016 I realised that I belong to a ‘global elite that destroyed the livelihoods of ordinary people.’

In the atheistic Soviet, Union science provided a coherent worldview, ways, and means of existence. As a tween, I constructed a pyramid of human occupations. The scientists and artists were at the top as the noblest pursuits of knowledge and beauty. The teachers and medical doctors were a step lower as those who taught and cared for other people. The rest of humanity was in a useful but dull mass on the third step of the ladder. I decided to become a scientist – it seemed more practical than becoming a Big Name in Literature.

I spent school years as an undersocialized nerd winning national competitions in Biology. I found my crowd at Uni and started working in a lab as a first-year undergrad (my heart fluttered so much when I went to volunteer!). When the Soviet Union disintegrated, and money for science run out  I went abroad to practice science devoutly, at least 50 hours working week. The post-soviet scientists had a reputation of hard-working people, and we looked incomprehensibly at local specialists who worked 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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7 virtues of scientist

Patience – one of the missing scientific virtues

The InterAcademy Council and IAP – the global network of science academies – have determined a “must have” set of scientist’s universal values:

honesty,  fairness, objectivity, reliability, skepticism, accountability and openness.

Cleanliness is optional, then.