Meet Sarah, our over-qualified intern.
When I met Sarah, I was blown away by her ability to maximize her “PhD brain,” exercise her creative writing talents, AND cultivate methods to stay connected to the non-science community (aka: the general public).
One method is by sharing her insights on this site. She provides an overview–with a dose of honesty–of what we can expect to hear from her, below.
Let’s give it up for Sarah!
In her words…
Hi! I’m Sarah, and I’m your newest cheerleader.
When I told my laboratory colleagues that I was going to be blogging for this website, their response included several raised eyebrows and tons of ridicule. No one took me seriously. “What self-respecting aspiring scientist would associate herself with…a cheerleader?” they asked. Are pom-poms a necessary job requirement? And what was I cheering for? The Geek Squad?
But though all of their questions were in jest, the idea of what I wanted to cheer for was a very realistic one. What would I want to write about each week? I am very passionate about my biochemistry research – would I be cheering for that? Would my blogs be spent teaching biochemistry to the masses? Or…would I cheer for scientists themselves? Should I interview prominent members of the research community and tell the world all about them and their work?
I must admit that I may do some or all of these things during my time as a cheerleader, but I was amazed to realize that none of these things were what I was aspiring to accomplish as a new member of our squad. Instead, I would like to be your cheerleader. I am rooting for you, subscribers.
ABC News reported that though nine out of ten Americans are interested in science, only 17% felt confident that they knew anything about scientific topics. I want to change those numbers. I want each of you to believe that you are capable of grasping the science concepts that define your daily routine.
But developing confidence in your scientific prowess won’t be easy. It certainly wasn’t easy for me. In college, I began my science career as an English major, and I still consider myself more of an expert on Shakespearean sonnets than I do the field of genetics. Understanding science is an ongoing process. In part, this is because science is always developing. But more importantly, it is because the scope of science is so broad that no one can master it all in one sitting. There will always be new areas to study and learn, and this fact is true for everyone, even those of us that have a lot of background in one scientific subject.
I stopped being intimidated by science when I got actively involved in doing experiments for an undergraduate research project. I found it was hard to second-guess what I had observed for myself first hand, and over time I became more confident that I really knew what I thought I knew. With that in mind, I’ll be blogging about opportunities for you to become more involved in science yourself by signing up for citizen science projects around the country. I think you will find yourself becoming more and more of an expert on the subjects you are interested in just by collecting data for an afternoon. I am really rooting for you to try it out, either through direct participation or talking about the links with your friends.
And as my own thesis experiments continue through 2010, I look forward to learning more along with you.