February 2013

True stories

Dear readers,

It gives me great pleasure to present this issue to you, as it debuts the first essay in our special series “Derailed but Undeterred.” To my knowledge, this is the first personal essay series in the magazine’s history.

As firsts often are, this one was terrifying. I had to summon up quite a bit of bravado even to suggest during one of our weekly ASBMB Today staff meetings that we solicit stories of failures, heartbreaks, illnesses and near-misses. I was relieved when it turned out my team was intrigued by the concept. But that relief deteriorated into apprehension when we put out the call for submissions and then turned to absolute disappointment when we had not received a single essay a few weeks later. I became certain this idea was, indeed, derailed, and I was feeling anything but undeterred.

Then it happened: The essays began trickling in, and they were more compelling than I’d imagined they would be. It turned out that people at all stages of their careers were willing to share publicly their fears and defeats. Furthermore, they were willing to share how they managed and overcame those fears and defeats.

Wendy Knapp Pogozelski
Click here to read our first “Derailed but Undeterred” essay, by Wendy Knapp Pogozelski at SUNY-Geneseo.

While their stories vary widely in content and style, all the writers featured in this series send one message loud and clear: You have to have guts. You have to have guts to do science, to make it in science, to leave science and to return to science. You have to have guts to ask for and accept help. You have to have guts to keep going when darker days likely are ahead. You have to have guts to embark on a journey for which there is no map.

I do hope you will enjoy these tales of resilience, adventure and hard work. If you find them as inspiring as I have, perhaps you’ll consider submitting an essay of your own that describes an obstacle or hardship that you have overcome or are facing. I’ve extended the submission deadline to March 31, because there are many other stories out there that need to be told.

Angela Hopp
Angela Hopp
Editor, ASBMB Today

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