Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

My little black book

My sister recently gave me ‘a mini guide to the periodic table’. The interesting fact for today is: Neodymium is magnetic, and in fact NIB (neodymium, iron, boron) magnets are so strong that you can put them on either side of your hand and they will stick. That’s kind of creepy.

Little things like this make me happy to be a chemist. The more I meet people who aren’t scientists (all 3 of them), the more I realize that it’s a privilege to be happy doing what you do.

[Addendum, or a quick note of clarification: I don’t mean at all to suggest that you need to be a scientist to be happy. Rather, I think it’s harder to accidentally become a scientist if you’re not fairly passionate about it. Or, just that I was talking to people who don’t like their jobs.]

Catherine (associate editor, Nature Chemical Biology)


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    Hossein Amiri said:

    I agree with you on how inspiring natural phenomena can be. I am very happy with molecular biology, as I study the field as a masters student; I enjoy thinking about the beautifully interwoven network of molecules inside living cells and how simply they teach us that we still don’t know much about what they “really” are. Engaged in molecular biology everyday, I am getting more and more confident about continuing to study it! It is interesting to know that science can make people, from all over the globe and with much different backgrounds, feeling somehow similar about its impact on their lives.

    P.S.: I suppose that there probably is a relationship between “seeming to know things, while not knowing them”, and NOT being passionate about those things.