(Young) Scientists at the time of a pandemic – by Petar Milovanovic
In the time like this, when uncertainty, fear, existential problems, as well as closed labs, interrupted experiments, cancelled conferences, ruined plans, etc. are our reality, we need to adapt and find the ways to endure. Due to restrictive policies set by many governments and epidemiologists’ recommendations, many researchers are confined at home, and are suddenly forced to find alternative ways for working, teaching, mentoring, etc. Basically they regard the time in self-isolation as an opportunity (as long as they are healthy), not just as a frustration. One of the most famous living poets and philosophers in Serbia, confined at home due to governmental restriction for people aged over 65 years, has said in a recent interview that now is the time when he cannot excuse himself that he does not have enough time. Indeed, many scientists think similarly, and also try to be productive during this time, to finish some papers that have been waiting for their attention too long, write grant applications, etc. An interesting text published in April in Nature’s career column “My lab is closed to me because of the coronavirus. Here’s how I’m planning to stay productive” gives us an US-based Chinese researcher’s perspective on the topic and illustrates one way of coping with the situation.