Friday, January 07, 2005

Someone stole my umbrella

It's been raining all day, which is pretty impressive for where we live. Anyway I left my umbrella hanging on the doorknob to our shared office, and when we got back from lab meeting, it was gone.

People suck.

This guy who was talking today was a visiting speaker, he's been pretty successful. I didn't like his stuff at all, to me it seemed like more crap on a very large pile of crap. It's not really his fault, he doesn't really know any better and the peer review process clearly doesn't work, or he wouldn't have gotten this far basing all his hypotheses on these kinds of assumptions... But if I try to ask him some questions to try to lead him to realize some of the flaws in his design... well let's just say one of his faulty assumptions is quite common among scientists: they assume that if you're young, and they haven't heard of you, that you couldn't possibly know anything. So then I give up, because this guy claims he wants our input, but he clearly doesn't actually want to hear that he's using cells from the wrong organism, and he needs to show his controls, and the drugs he's choosing to use will create artifacts in his assay....

Oh, nevermind. Just because I get criticized for similar or more minor problems with my own work, doesn't mean I get to tell anyone else they're doing it wrong!

Lately I'm having a hard time thinking science is worth doing when so much of it is so clearly incorrect. It seems like we could easily spend forever disproving theories that are obviously wrong, rather than coming up with new ideas. Even if you have a new idea, you can easily spend your whole career trying to convince people it's worth testing.

Pisses me off.

My friend invited me to a dinner in a few weeks, there's this doctor at a local cancer center who does some outreach work with volunteers who help improve patients' quality of life- music therapy, massage, etc. Anyway my friend does massage and other kinds of Body Work, so she's going to this dinner and wants me to come along. I feel very conflicted about this, since I will likely be the only person there with any science background, and supposedly this guy wants to talk about advances in chemotherapy and diagnosis, etc. I don't know if it will be very watered-down or if I will just think it's all crap, which seems to be how I feel about the vast majority of bioscience these days. And I'm not sure I want to mix these two things, because I'm usually pretty non-science when I'm with this friend, so having to do both at the same time, the idea makes me uncomfortable.

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