It’s 4018, and an archaeologist has just uncovered the remains of your laboratory.
They’ve found the lab notebooks, your instruments, and the remains of your experiments. They examine every aspect of your life, your work, and how you lived. They attempt to understand and judge the behavior of your culture in terms of its standards of good, normal, moral, and legal, compared to their own culture.
They experience surprise confusion and pain to encounter a way of life that is so very foreign to their own. The archeologists believe their own culture is the best and can only understand or judge your life in terms of their own culture. They strive to understand every part of your life and your culture, comparing each to every other part and to the whole.
What do they see? What do they find? What do they conclude?
The practices of scientists, the tools and objects of inquiry, and the products of research—the different approaches to the study of knowledge production in the biomedical and life sciences are beautiful.
I know that time and time again groups question the laboratory’s relationship to social and moral issues, but I’d like to just take a moment to recognize the beauty of what you do. Appreciate your position in life and the work you are a part of.
Yes, there are moral issues to consider. Yes, there are environmental issues to consider. Yes, there are definitely moral issues to consider. But, for this one moment, release those concerns to the back of your mind. Look around you and truly see the objects around you. Recognize the knowledge you’ve produced in your lab notebook.
Take a moment to enjoy your work.