Science & Science🔗

May 29, 2024

“By living up to these standards day after day, I’d become a very good scientist. But I was learning that succeeding at a research institution like Penn required skills that had little to do with science. You needed the ability to sell yourself and your work. You needed to attract funding. You needed the kind of interpersonal savvy that got you invited to speak at conferences or made people eager to mentor and support you. You needed to know how to do things in which I have never had any interest (flattering people, schmoozing, being agreeable when you disagree, even when you are 100 percent certain that you are correct). You needed to know how to climb a political ladder, to value a hierarchy that had always seemed, at best, wholly uninteresting (and, at worst, antithetical to good science). I wasn’t interested in those skills. I didn’t want to play political games. Nor did I think I should have to. Nobody had ever taught me those skills, and frankly I wasn’t interested in them anyway.”

– Katalin Karikó, as cited in the WSJ