Hello, it’s me, the 6th-year PhD student from down the hall. I’ve been observing your experiments from afar, and I have but one simple but humble request: Please, let me live vicariously through your perfect data. Just a quick hit of your graph’s flawless curves will allow me to survive another year of statistical insignificance!
I too had perfect data, many years ago. It was a stormy day, my E. coli had been on their best behavior for weeks, and my data was on a hot streak. Then, like a ray of sunshine, I saw the numbers cascade across the lab’s ancient Dell computer, their log p-value of 0.001 sparkling like a raindrop after a storm.
And there it was. Proof that my genetically engineered bacteria were producing the exact small molecule I had intended.
Alas, that euphoria was but a fleeting moment in the 2nd year of my PhD, and I have been chasing the dragon ever since. Now I find myself deep in withdrawal, with tight standard deviations haunting my dreams night after night.
So here is my request to you, my fellow researcher: as someone at the brink of an extinct scientific career, may I steal a glance at your near perfect R2 values, even for just a few forbidden moments? If you will, please just let me feast my eyes upon that flawless sigmoidal growth curve for three biological replicates you were able to create. I promise, just a taste of this Nature-calibre data will give me the strength I need to trust science again.
To reward your for this small favour, I would be happy to provide you with services that would further help you focus on generating other beautiful data points! I will clean all your glassware, pick up after you in the lab, and serve you hand-pressed coffee if you would simply allow me to freebase your raw data. For an elusive R2 value of 0.99999? I will sacrifice my career, raise your first-born, and act as a human shield when you ask the feared lab technician to use her multi-million dollar machine.