PI Quotes 6 – “It’s beautiful to be naïve”

Time for a new quote. One that I think about a lot these days.

When I started university, and went trough the Bachelor’s and Master’s years, I -retrospectively- see that I was incredibly naïve. I went through these years smoothly, without thinking too much about it. Enjoying it most of the time, without thinking about the future. Being fearless, spontaneous, and not rationalizing or over thinking too much. Just going for things. I think that’s what they call “early twenties”.

In less then a month, I’m turning 25, and although I know it’s not old, not a big deal, and will not change anything in my day-to-day life, it made me conscious that this naïveté goes away bits by bits. And I’m not liking it.

A few years ago, I thought that people who where honest, well-intentioned, and hard-working necessarily made it through life. I thought that passionate and good scientists should not have troubles getting a nice job at university. I though, with blissful optimism, that life was fair.

With years going by, I see that things are not that bright. Did society change, or is it me, seeing things I could not see before ? I do not believe anymore that talented hard-working people necessarily get a good job in academia, I see that even fabulous research projects do not always get funded, and science looks more an more like an ego-driven enterprise, influenced by finances, buzz words, and fashion. (Don’t get me started on “translationnal research”)

So, yeah, when this PI looked at me in the eyes to say: “It’s beautiful to be naïve”. I knew it was true, I knew I looked naive to him, and simply wished it was real.

It’s weird, feeling that you grow up. Reinforcing and weakening at the same time.

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