Alison in Wonderland, Observant, Maastricht
When they say you’re stupid, you must ignore them. Sir John Gurden, who this month received the Nobel Prize for his research on stem cells, came dead last in school biology. According to his teacher, his dream of being a scientist was nothing short of ‘ridiculous’. What’s more, research published in Science this month shows that scientific papers rejected on first submission but eventually published elsewhere end up with more citations (presumably because the initial ravaging by reviewers ultimately makes them better). And J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were famously rejected by a solid ten publishers before taking the world by storm. History is full of such stories of vindication. So: when they say you’re stupid, ignore them. Unless, of course, you are stupid. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.