Defend Your Position

“If you are sure of your facts, you should defend your position.” – Cecilia Payne

Cecilia Payne was an astronomer and astrophysicist who discovered how to understand the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundance of hydrogen and helium. Her thesis was attacked by a superior claiming it could not possibly be true that hydrogen is 1 million times more abundant in stars than on earth. This attack prompted her to add a final sentence on to her thesis acknowledging that it cannot be true.

Four years later superior realized his mistake. To his credit he gave her due credit for her discovery. After this was over, she said about this experience:

“If you are sure of your facts, you should defend your position.”

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