Editor's Note

Well, to be honest

Comfort Dorn
Jan. 4, 2020

A couple of decades ago, I used to walk three miles every morning with two friends. The goal was fitness, but it was also social time.

Some days we woke the neighbors with our hoots of laughter. But when my long-disintegrating marriage really started to fall apart, I got quiet and sad. Of course, my friends noticed. One cold dark morning we talked about it, and one of my friends told me that I should pretend to be happy. After a while, she reasoned, I’d start to believe myself and really be happy; in the meantime, other people wouldn’t feel uncomfortable around me. I tried to follow her advice, but I only felt worse.

Not only was I failing at holding my family together, I couldn’t even fool myself into being cheerful.

With hindsight, I can now say that was awful advice. Pretending doesn’t solve much.

I thought about this when I first read several of the personal essays in this issue’s wellness section — what struck me most was their honesty. Before these writers figured out how to take care of themselves, they had to face up to what ailed them — to the ways they were broken. As they walked me (metaphorically) through their experiences of stress and pain, I realized that all of us need to see and be ourselves truthfully before we can find a way to heal and be well. I am grateful for these difficult shared journeys. I hope you will be too.

✥✥✥

On a completely different note: It’s a new year. Sometimes that means changes, sometimes not. Here at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (and specifically at this magazine), 2020 means big changes to our online presence. We have a handsome new website, and ASBMB Today is moving to daily publishing.

What does that mean? Instead of throwing an entire issue of the magazine onto the website early in the month, we will post new articles and essays every day. We’re playing around with themes like “Member Monday” and “Fats Tuesday” (the “s” is not a typo — that’s the day for lipids). The magazine site will grow to include our public affairs department’s policy blog, weekly careers columns and monthly health observances. As a big bonus, the site also will be mobile friendly, so you can read ASBMB Today everywhere you go.

Be well — and may you thrive in the year to come.

Comfort Dorn

Comfort Dorn is the managing editor of ASBMB Today.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in Opinions

Opinions highlights or most popular articles

Learning to love assessment
Education

Learning to love assessment

July 28, 2021

“As every scientist knows, there is no point in doing an experiment if you don’t have a way to assess the result. So assessment is a crucial step in teaching and learning.”

I’m fully vaccinated but feel sick – should I get tested for COVID-19?
News

I’m fully vaccinated but feel sick – should I get tested for COVID-19?

July 25, 2021

It’s impossible to know whether a vaccinated person is fully protected or could still develop a mild case if exposed to the coronavirus.

5 ways to use hip-hop in the classroom to build better understanding of science
Education

5 ways to use hip-hop in the classroom to build better understanding of science

July 24, 2021

Teachers often don’t know how to make science relevant, and many students of color fail to develop a science identity.

What to ask during your faculty interview
Professional Development

What to ask during your faculty interview

July 21, 2021

“Going into your interview armed with good questions not only will help you gather intel to help you make the best decision for your career but also will help you stand above the competition.”

The STEM Academy: A necessary remedy to med school tunnel vision
Reimagining

The STEM Academy: A necessary remedy to med school tunnel vision

July 13, 2021

A one-week camp at the University of South Florida forged community as it introduced new students to the possibilities of a career in scientific research.

Merging biochemical and analytical training
Reimagining

Merging biochemical and analytical training

July 8, 2021

“(T)he pandemic revealed that while it is critical for us to specialize and have depth of knowledge in some domains, it is also essential that we cultivate some breadth in our skill set.”