Living in the grey zone

What a relief, the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation has decided to support my science for the next five years. Finally, after several years of craving my dreams are coming true. I can open my own lab and pursue all the ideas that have been filling my brain for the last years – and this time without having to consult my supervisor! This is the moment I have been waiting for. But wait a minute – now comes responsibility!

Responsibility to people other than myself: for the education of students and researchers, for the hosting institute and for the supporting agencies. But thinking twice, this is exactly what I have been waiting for. To become independent and to "take a crack at" convincing people other than myself, that what I am doing is interesting and an important issue for many more than me. I am ready to take this responsibility and I need this challenge.

As scientists we need constant challenge, otherwise I would feel like our work becomes tedious and monotonous. If every experiment worked the first time, I am sure we would quickly get bored. If science was all "black and white" it would be boring. Just as if life was black and white it would be boring too. Science is living in the grey zone  – that is what makes it so fantastic! It is so complex and finding the right answers sometimes seems impossible (until it is in front of you). That is what drives me as a person and as a scientist.

The problem with science is that it takes time. Good science takes time and unfortunately we have to keep up the publishing pace to be considered successful. This also means that we need to compromise. We need to choose the right path, or sometimes maybe the "safe path"? And we need to prioritise. We need to take the right decisions every week. But hey, this is the lesson to be learned: choosing the right path, taking the right decisions and learning to prioritise! Being a scientist is a way of life.  

Responsibility gives you freedom; because it grants you true appreciation of your own power as an inventor and scientist. Prioritising and taking the right decisions however will determine you for life. The Ragnar Söderberg Foundation has given me the responsibility. Now it is up to me to prioritise and to make the right decisions.