What it’s like to write your doctoral dissertation

So, you’re writing your doctoral dissertation

Or, you’re going to be writing your dissertation at some point in the future. What should you expect?

Kat Beheshti, PhD Candidate and Marine Ecologist, was knee deep in her writing her doctoral dissertation in the middle of the 2020 pandemic… Cabin fever anyone? Kat’s been stuck inside writing her dissertation since Fall 2019. Usually she’s having fun and making videos on the super sexy flashy science that she does – in the mud rolling around in the seagrass beds of Elkhorn Slough. But that’s not her reality right now!

Interested in what Kat’s doing when she’s in the middle of the mud and fun? Check out her Instagram! @justsloughit

Writing can be one of the most sluggish and yet exhilarating parts of the scientific process

Science without getting the science out is still valuable. But what a shame to spend so much time and effort (and often your own blood, sweat, and tears) into something and then to not let the world see it? No way!

So you may get a little weird, a little stir crazy…
You may miss a few days of showering…
Forget to brush your teeth…
Be up at 4am to get started and find yourself still in your pjs late in the day…

But many scientists are in that boat right. Especially during the pandemic as scientists are also working from home.

But truly…writing about the science we do is critical

Arguably, writing and sharing your science is not only a necessary step, it is THE culminating step. It’s critical because:

1) Sharing our science allows for progress

2) Scientists can more easily learn from each other when science is shared

3) Communicating science hands the microphone to your data and says “hey look at these awesome findings we got, we should manage these habitats and consider XYZ” or “…remember when we all used to think that this is how X operated and functioned? Well it actually only does that *sometimes* and should be characterized and X AND Y”. Or a science favorite…. “Species A is now considered Species B, please now call it Species B” *10 minutes later* “…Species B is now considered Species A, please now call it Species A”.

Questions bout the writing process?

Leave a comment!

Either here or on the actual YouTube video comments, ask any questions you have on writing a doctoral dissertation, writing a scientific paper, being a Ph. D. candidate, what it’s like to go through the review process, publishing scientific work and research, etc.

And, don’t forget to check out the end of the video for Abbott, the Slough Dog 😊

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