A Story of Resilience: Dr Mary-Claire King

In The Confident Teacher by Alex QuigleyLeave a Comment

At the start of this week, after school, I gave a talk to a group of shiny, new trainee teachers with my colleague, Jane Elsworth. We gave a talk on the subject of resilience: that of teachers and the children in our care.

I expect that the trainees will remember few of the specific details of the talk given the hurly burly of their hectic week. I suspect the theory and evidence that attends resilience will quickly be forgotten. A few stories of our experiences – both traumas and successes – will no doubt linger longer in the memory.

There is little more memorable than the power of a real human story.

This morning I watched a startling video with the speaker Dr Mary-Claire King telling the story of a key early milestone in her career. If you don’t know this amazing scientist, she has three major accomplishments: identifying breast cancer genes; demonstrating that humans and chimpanzees are 99% genetically identical; and applying genomic sequencing to identify victims of human rights abuses.

What comes next is a special story, in Mary-Claire’s own words, of how she overcame  cataclysmic events in her life to get to those monumental achievements. It is a story that epitomises some remarkable resilience:

You can read a transcript of this talk here.

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