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‘Grades don’t define you’: Young female scientist’s story inspires Google CEO Sundar Pichai and many others

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Viral tweet from a young scholar about the importance of coping with failure in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)  has garnered a lot of praise from many including Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Sarafina Nance, a PhD student in astrophysics and a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow in the University of California in Berkley, wrote about how she once scored zero in a quantum physics exam.

The result, she said, forced her to consider quitting physics. But she revealed that sticking with the subject despite the failure had paid rich dividends.

“4 years ago I got a 0 on a quantum physics exam. i met with my professor fearing i needed to change my major & quit physics. today, i’m in a top tier astrophysics Ph.D program & published 2 papers,” Nance, a 26-year-old astrophysicist who says she researches supernovae, wrote.

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Sarafina Nance, a PhD student in astrophysics and a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow in the University of California in Berkley
Sarafina Nance, a PhD student in astrophysics and a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow in the University of California in Berkley

“STEM is hard for everyone—grades don’t mean you’re not good enough to do it,” she wrote.

The tweet got many researchers and scholars to share instances of the setbacks and challenges they had faced, and how they overcame them. As the thread and tweets went viral, Google CEO Sundar Pichai retweeted it, saying that it was “inspiring”.

The thread is continuing to get responses from people about the challenges they’ve faced in their academic career.

One wrote: This post has made like minded people come together and express thier views .This post wil have its own historical importance and is essential to make budding science lovers to understand passion is the key to science rather than a mechaical or a protocoled way.

Some others shared interesting and inspiring stories they’ve faced.

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