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Passion, Dedication, Support

For our 2018 Power List, we return to our celebration of the rising stars of analytical science. Starting on page 16, you can read the Fab 40’s stories in their own words – and what amazing, inspiring stories they are! Between them they have won major awards, published groundbreaking papers and developed cutting-edge tools – all before the age of 40. So how have they achieved these impressive feats? Are they, like Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg, adhering to a punishing schedule of 2:30am wakeups and cryo chamber sessions to boost their productivity? When asked for the secret of their success the most common reply was simple: do something that you love, and pursue it with passion.

The answer will come as no surprise to our readers. One of my own great pleasures as an editor is speaking to people who are so passionate about their work. Of course, not every working day is unalloyed joy – many of our Top 40 Under 40 make reference to the inevitable setbacks and disappointments to be found in a career in science. As Matthew Lockett wryly notes, sometimes you have to “love science, even when it does not love you back.”

Nevertheless, for these early career scientists, (sometimes unrequited) passion for their field propels them onwards. Gary Patti hits the nail on the head here: “I think obsessed is a good word. It’s the feeling of getting halfway through a jigsaw puzzle and then having to stop. There’s an irresistible urge to find that missing piece.”

As well as passion, curiosity and sheer hard work, success as a young (or old) scientist relies heavily on the support of others. As epigenomic explorer Benjamin Garcia says  “To become independent and rigorous scientists with the vision to ask and answer important questions, we must be trained and mentored, supported and encouraged.” Garcia is now himself a mentor to many – indeed, he says, “When I look back on my career, I will judge myself on the impact I have had on others.”

Which brings me to a closing point: as well as congratulating the fantastic 40 themselves, I’d also like to thank their nominators. We, and they, appreciate your efforts to support the next generation of analytical scientists.

Charlotte Barker

Editor

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About the Author

Charlotte Barker

After studying biology at Imperial College London, I got my start in biomedical publishing as a commissioning editor for healthcare journals, and have spent my career covering everything from early-stage research to clinical medicine. I joined Texere Publishing in 2014, attracted by the creativity, talent and passion of the team. As Editor of The Analytical Scientist, I help scientists share their stories in vibrant and engaging content that reflects their passion and hard work.

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