This semester I have been taking a very nice class called Global Change Biology. I have had the privilege to meet and share ideas with very important scientists and (more important to me) very good people. Probably their most important message has been: Is it enough to just publish our science?
Since the beginning of graduate school, the word publish has been around every day. It is like a ghost behind your back, poking you every day and making you feel guilty for every frivolous second you spend not working in the lab. But, is publishing really the end product of our research? This is a controversial question, and the answer will depend on the person who is asked. I am not in the position to offer an answer, but I’ll offer my humble opinion instead, which is no, it is not enough.
Today we are in a changing world. Changes are occurring at different scales and aspects of our lives: politically, environmentally, culturally, and I question myself if society will be able to actually keep the pace of changes without compromising our quality of life. So, in a changing world, should we be more open to changes in our roles as scientists as well? Should we try to do more than what we were trained for?
Today I was in a seminar and the invited professor made a comment that is still dancing in my head, the last paper I published , was read by no more than 60 colleagues , but the associated animated video of this research got more than 200.000 views.
I think this comment makes a very good point, and it shows the magnitude that an outreach project can have. I am not saying that all scientists should do outreach, but I am saying that maybe the new generations of scientists should think about these issues and consider to do outreach as a part of our research. This will not be easy, but that will be the theme for a future post.
For those reading this blog for the first time… Welcome!
This is my first time making my ideas public in the internet, so I’ll do my best sharing some of my thoughts. I’ll try to use this blog for many purposes: science news, graduate student life catharsis, Latin-American literature, traveling, field anecdotes, progress on my research, and even discussions on politics!
I’m a Biologist from Venezuela, from the Andean mountains. I like horses, scuba diving, hiking and tango dancing. Currently I’m doing my PhD in the University of Puerto Rico, trying to find out what is the effect of climate change on Anolis lizards reproduction and demography here in the island.