“Science is a co-operative enterprise, spanning the generations. It’s the passing of a torch from teacher to student to teacher. A community of minds reaching back from antiquity and forward to the stars.”
-Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos
I’ve been thinking about this quote in the context of my own scientific career. Not only do mentor/mentee relationships increase the connectiveness of the scientific community, it connects individuals that may never met before. Though the technology we use and the questions we ask may change through out the years; the tips, the tricks, the passion, and the core concepts of the scientific theory are preserved through out time through these connections/relationships.
I can’t wait to meet my future mentors and mentees. We’re going to have a lot of fun.
Also, a series of manatees… because I hope my weirdness lives on too.
I’m not the first person to think about this, in fact there are genealogies made for entire fields (http://academictree.org/)…
In fact, I was able to find some of my mentors on this site, some of which I was able to trace back their mentors, their mentor’s mentors, etc.
Though it’s fairly creepy that mentors and mentees are referred to as parents and children, it’s not entirely inaccurate. Much like parents, not every mentor is exemplary or effective, and not all mentees continue their predecessors work.