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Valerie tweets progress. @SfPRocur
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Good morning!

Today I want to talk about #TheDarkSideOfScience.

More specifically about the fact that *science is hard*
1. Because it really helps to know that you're not alone, you're not a failure, you are in fact - a genius. All of you!
2. Non-scientists don't always know that a lot of research is redoing an experiment that hasn't quite worked yet. Or obtaining negative results*

*By the way, negative results are still results!
3. Science is hard!

(Just to say it again)
A lot of research paths don't end up published. This does not mean that the research is bad. Or that the scientists is not goot at his/her job...

There's too much focus on publication=success, while there are many other factors in play!

For example:
My own PhD project was very similar. It was relatively short (3 years, eventually wrote up by the 4th-ish year), it was very exploratory (I'll call it "cutting-edge" for my own sake), it was interdisciplinary (with it's own challenges),...
By the end of year 3, I was all set to submit but my thesis was not yet what it should be and I was advised to hold of submission and extend my project.

I can't even tell you how that made me feel...
I went hiking for a week. Went home for a month or so, went on holiday with my family. And when I got back to uni, I went to counselling.

With extra work, a lot of hours at the gym, a very stressful viva, a summer of major revisions, I have currently resubmitted my thesis. 💪💪
I had an amazing support system of friends and family. I maintained a work-life balance that I was comfortable with (it sometimes got me in trouble, but this was something I felt strongly about). And I wrote a comedy-set about the hardships of doing a PhD.
For me, joking about it in front of a room of people was a way to cope. Having people come up to me afterwards saying they really recognised what I'd said, was surprisingly soothing.

(Oh, I've been saying I'm in my "last year of my PhD" for way too long!)
I found ways to manage and plow through, but I know that this is not a simple thing.

In fact, PhD students are especially susceptible to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression...…
There is too much of a stigma around mental health, everywhere - including academia.

The long working hours, the work pressure, the "failure",... it all creates a stressful environment.

Let's do something and change it!
(First, I'm gonna work on my physical health - gym time!)
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