28 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Authorship, Feuding an... · 0 replies · +1 points

In my experience, a masters in biology is worthless in the sense that you are not any more hireable than just a bachelors. This was confirmed for me anecdotally when I saw on facebook that a college classmate left grad school after 2 years with his bachelors and ended up working an entry level job at the FDA.

I grappled with quitting graduate school, but I am glad I didn't. I still haven't graduated yet, though, so there is plenty of time for me to regret my decision.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Don't Be Such A Scient... · 0 replies · +1 points

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Don't Be Such A Scient... · 0 replies · +1 points

All fields have jargon, as a way to make communication inside the field easier as it allows your colleagues to know exactly what you are talking about, and often you forget that others don't know it.

For comparisons sake, I am not a middle eastern politics expert, but I have a friend who is. He uses lots of words that I have no idea what he is talking about, and sometimes he does it just to show off, but I don't think the terms were originally generated to obsfucate. Also, because I don't understand it doesn't mean that it is irrelevant, it means that I lack the backround to understand it . There are a ton of books, blogs, articles, TV shows, and people out there to allow me to understand it, but it would require an effort on my part to take the time to learn it.

As for some biotechs not producing anything, it happens in all fields because discovering new stuff is hard. And expensive. As a society we seem to be willing to put the money in science because its breakthroughs can improve the lives of the most people. Many non-scientists argue that antiseptics were the greatest discovery for all of humanity after the wheel and fire, all three of which are science. And let's not forget the internet! The glorious, blessed internet!

There is one statement you made that I could not agree more with: "Message/communication is important..." We do need scientific spokespeople to explain things, but we also need societies that have the scientific background to understand it. In America, at least, many students become dismissive of science and math because it is difficult and requires learning and memorizing tenants in order to understand and appreciate it. If those fundamentals are lacking, communication is never going to happen because one side has its fingers in its ears.

Really it boils down to: Why do you think science is so different than other fields? Lawyers have jargon. Business people use money for risky things that often don't work because they are new. Government workers often cannot adequately explain their policies. These are all symptoms of specialization, and without it there would be very little progress unfortunately.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Communicating with Non... · 0 replies · +1 points

My entire explanation is 90% handwaving. I just hate talking about it because it inevitably leads to "when will you be done?" or "what are you going to do with that?" or, if I'm lucky, both.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Scary Seminar Seat Sel... · 0 replies · +1 points

Ooooh actually my most hated seminar neighbor is the "slight cougher": they aren't hacking up a lung, but instead are doing that impotent, just-beyond-throat-clearing baby cough.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Identity Theft. Did S... · 0 replies · +1 points

Eh, I view them as a bit of a scam, preying on people being scared of this happening to them. My technique maximizes the free reports - you can get one free report a year from each of the 3 reporting agencies.

Every 4 months I check one of them, and I mark it on my calendar so I know how long it has been.

However, I have never had to deal with any sort of fraud; when a drug dealer has my credit cards it is because I gave them to him.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Scary Seminar Seat Sel... · 2 replies · +1 points

Worse than sitting next to "The Nodder" is sitting immediately behind him.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Making DNA Look Simple · 0 replies · +2 points

wow. that is so much easier than drawing everything! thanks nikhil!

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - How to Leave Academics... · 0 replies · +1 points

To Stephanie, you may want to use your thesis committee for input on this if you REALLY don't want to do those experiments and just graduate. They are an impartial third party who can act as mediators.

12 years ago @ BenchFly Blog - Bar Chemistry that Cou... · 0 replies · +1 points

While this may work, I personally prefer carrying around a mouse in my pocket. I have it take a sip of my drink every so often and then check if it gets sleepy.

It has served me well so far, though I have claw marks all over my legs for some odd reason...