Treasure Your Exceptions
New beginnings are exciting. We approach them with enthusiasm, but often with a little trepidation, especially if we have an audience.
How does one start a new blog? What do you say in that first post? I guess you just dive in! So that’s what I’ll do.
If I could choose a phrase to describe myself, I would say that I treasure my exceptions. I first saw the words “treasure your exceptions” on a whiteboard in the laboratory where I completed my PhD in genetics. The originator of the quotation was William Bateson, a famous geneticist who helped promote Gregor Mendel’s theories of inheritance.
Intrigued by the phrase, I looked it up and in doing so learned a little bit about Bateson’s work and a little bit about myself. It’s been almost fifteen years since I first read those words, and they still ring true.
For me, science writing is the process of uncovering and sharing some of the exceptions in the world, whether they represent new scientific discoveries or old ones reexamined. The key to sharing these exceptions is finding the story that makes them come to life for a reader. What’s so exciting is that ordinary life is filled with exceptions just waiting to become stories.
With this new blog I hope to share with you the science stories and science-related events that I find exceptional. You might not share my point of view, but that’s OK. Having some lively (and civil) debate will be fun.
Oh, I forgot to tell you. Those three words are not all Bateson said about exceptions. If you want to read the rest of the story, check out his lecture The Methods and Scope of Genetics and search for the phrase “Treasure your exceptions.”