“What” and “If” are two words as non-alarming as they can be, yet when you put them side-by-side, they have the ability to change lives.
Many ground-breaking discoveries started off with the question: “What if?”
Smallpox. Because of Edward Jenner, a country doctor, who questioned why his milkmaids did not contract the disease, a breakthrough cure was discovered. “What if cowpox prevented smallpox?” Questions not only appeased one’s demands, they can change history worldwide. Science does not discriminate; it is for everyone, and the never-ending revolutionary contingencies/possibilities can alter and alleviate lives.
Science is like art, it encompasses and taps on one’s creativity to solve real-world problems. Yet it is the only subject that holds the key to evolution/development, where discoveries expand mankind’s reality. It is also the only subject that holds endless opportunities. Humanities explains about the past; sociology, politics, biostatistics, and other subjects explains the present; and linguistics helps to envision the future.
Science is a combination of all subjects: Historical breakthroughs, knowledge and technological advancements that prevails the society today, and research to materialize future solutions. Sciences is a interdisciplinary paradox that lies in between the gray zone. Unlike some subjects, science centers on falsifiable, testable and observable testimony that mainly focuses on abstract and commonly discordant prospects. It is the most democratic philosophy, with an inherent proclivity of equality where we are all the same on a molecular level, made up of the 4 bases: A,T,C,G. Dissimilar to maths where there is an indubitable answer, and philosophy where there is no definite interpretation, in science, repeated experiments can generate contrasting results that defy the initial cogent hypothesis, and is frequently altered and refined depending on new observations. The possibilities are limitless.
With more flexibility in polytechnic, I spend my free time reading science articles and journals, and my endless torrent of questions compelled me to seek out to professors and researchers in universities and research labs whose paper was written by. Rejections followed, which fuelled me with the motivation to continue in my pursuit. I read more papers and gathered further questions. I kept sending out more emails and 6 months later, my efforts started to show signs of fruition. I got a reply regarding questions I have sent on neutral theory and extinction debt. More months followed, and my boundless questions were met with invitations to labs, more responses, and opportunities to work alongside professors and researchers, which allowed me to gain insights into their science fields.
However daunting becoming a scientist seems to be beyond ambitious, they all began as students. They are never satisfied with the status quo and because of that, humanity keeps moving forward. Being a student, it is awe-inspiring to envision future developments as our responsibility. We are the ones whose discoveries can make history, ameliorate lives, and become those adept scientists in years to come. I have learnt that opportunities are based on one’s disposition, and not upon one’s circumstances. I am grateful for all that has happened to me, as it taught me my most important lesson, where I do my best to carry it with me, and share, as I experience the slippery slopes of life.
Scientists spend countless hours in laboratories, and although they might not be the richest, the knowledge acquired leads humanity towards development, generating a better tomorrow, and experience satisfaction in doing so. Even if an experiment did not turn out the way one wanted, it is not a failure. Because then we will know that that method will not give the desired answer, and that itself is a success.
An outsider’s idea of research might resemble the dark room where Western Blot X-rays are developed. But the truth is, imagine the euphoria after the development of the X-ray blot, where one discovered a interaction between 2 proteins in a severe cancer! There are 7.7 billion people inhabiting this earth, and yet one will be the first organism in history to know about this interaction! This seemingly insignificant sparkle of knowledge will soon be shared across the globe like a enthralling light. One will forever own this knowledge, which will ameliorate lives of patients. The possibilities are limitless.