I put down the pipettes and start the timer. The samples are tucked in the heating block and the enzymes (manufactured in some bland warehouse in Germany) have thirty minutes to do their magic. The gloves come off and I mentally browse through tasks to fill this mini-gap. Should I read a paper? Perhaps add a few lines to that manuscript that insists on not writing itself. Thirty minutes is too short to be productive at any of these tasks so I sit in the empty lab, wondering. The timer moonwalking steadily to the inevitable beep.
“Why do I do this?” – I wonder.
What motivates a scientist?