Words of Wisdom: Dr. Dean

Donna Dean, PhD: Words of Wisdom: Dr. Dean

The importance of believing in yourself, admitting your mistakes, and continuing to do what you love.

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Dr. Donna Dean's Bio

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Transcript: Words of Wisdom: Dr. Dean

Well I think that one of the things is that if you love science, and I do, you can't walk away from it. You have to find a way, if you truly love science, you can find a way that it fits with your life, with your career, where you want to take it. I think the other thing that was very, very valuable to me is that I was raised-and even in graduate school with my mentors and my thesis committee-in an environment where it's far better to make a decision than not to make a decision about anything. The design of an experiment, a life choice-that you make the decision because if you don't make a decision, you're making a decision not to decide. If it's going to be an earth shaking, life altering decision, you'll know it at some fundamental level, and you'll make it the best possible decision. Because most decisions are not irrevocable decisions, and you can always modulate them as your pathway changes as you go through life.

So that has always stood me in good stead for my career even now. Anytime I have to make a decision or not make a decision, I always try to make the best decision possible because if it was a mistake, and you're willing to admit well that was a bad decision. How can I make it right? Or how can I modify my course? Or how can I modify what happened here with that decision? And the ability to say I'm sorry. The ability to say that was a mistake, and I'm sorry I think are very good personal characteristics. I think the best message any of us scientists can say to your scientists is you can do it.

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