Brand New Results: Will Share in 2 Years


I got new results today; like really exciting results!  Results I have spent the past five years dreaming about producing!  My first inclination was to post about it on Twitter because I.Am.So.Excited!!!  But of course I didn’t because that’s not how we roll in science.  I’ve got to confirm my new results in several ways before I would dare share.  And then even after that it will be a solid 1-2 years before my exciting results are published.  And by that time, I won’t think they are so exciting anymore because I will have lived with the answer to my question for so long.

One of my favorite parts of being a scientist is to discover new things about the world.  But there is this odd sadness to the discovery when you have to sit on your results, fearful that talking about them opens you up to the endless critique (like really people, let a person be happy for a day before you poke holes), or worst: a scoop.  And then comes the writing.  The endless writing, editing, and re-writing that takes your precious results and turns them into something you never want to think about again.

Knowing how long it takes me to get from exciting result(!) to exciting-to-others published result has always meant that the timeline for interviews with journalists blows my mind.  I understand our disciplines are very different, but to tell me that the news of my result is old if you get an interview tomorrow instead of today is hard to hear.  I mean, I have known the results for a solid year (or three), one more day can’t hurt!

This is the fourth time I’ve ever been excited about results in my 14 year career (and I’m kind of debating events 2 & 3, wondering if I’m inflating the count for the blog post).  The first time is of course the most memorable; a band on a gel showing I cloned part of a phosphate transporter.  I danced down the hall that Saturday afternoon and emailed the gel picture to my advisor.  And all the excitement was gone on Monday, because it was time to move on to the next step.  The results are few and far between in science, the exciting ones even less so.

Thanks for reading my stream of conscience about my exciting result.  Hopefully I’ll still be jazzed about it in a year and tell you the full story.




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