Posted on February 28th, 2014 by Clara Castillejobecerra
During this time, most graduate students are busily wrapping up their last laboratory rotations and thinking about which one to choose. Some students have an easier time deciding which lab to join, but other students such as myself have a harder time making this decision. Committing to a lab is especially daunting when you start considering the great implications of this decision, not only during your PhD studies, but also in your future career in general. Since many of us are in this position, I think it is of great importance to have a few considerations when deciding which lab to join.
Before even starting to consider which lab you will fit into, it is crucial to know yourself first. Ask yourself as many [...]
Posted on February 20th, 2014 by Andrew M. Harrsion
By Fareed Khawaja
NOTE (AMH): This post has been re-posted after the addition of new material. However, no removal of or changes to the original content were made.
There have been many successes for gay rights in the United States lately. With the recent strides made in both Utah and Oklahoma, one can say that the gay movement in America is progressing well. But what is the situation like for the LGBTI community in more conservative countries? To be more precise: the Islamic world.
Posted on February 13th, 2014 by Danielle Miranda
by Ian C. Clift
75% of graduate students in a recent survey have reported dealing with stress in the past year. The main source of stress is the pressure to produce. And why not? With deadlines, classes, experiments, and presentations, graduate students are under a lot of pressure to produce. There are three ideas for increasing productivity that I use regularly and maybe they can help you as well. I didn't come up with these ideas, I learned them (see the embedded links in the text), and below I will provide an example of their utility in a scientific research environment. But before I do, there are two things you should already have:
Posted on January 17th, 2014 by Carl Gustafson
“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Last year, on a whim, I volunteered at the Rochester Regional Science Fair. Growing up, I was never in science fairs, and it’s fair to say that when I signed up to be a judge at one, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. As it turns out, science fairs are completely fascinating, and I totally missed out as a kid (way to go, Mom…). That’s what I get for being homeschooled deep in the north woods of Minnesota, but I’m getting off track. Let’s start over.
Last year, on a whim, I volunteered at the Rochester Regional Science Fair. [...]
Posted on January 7th, 2014 by Stella Hartono
I always consider New Year's Day as a great time for self-introspection: to look back into what I have accomplished in the previous year and think of ways to improve myself. One of the consistent subject for assessment is how I divide my time among my myriad of responsibilities, and that is why I chose this topic for the blog.
As an MD/PhD student and a single mother to a 14 year old girl, people often ask if I have work-life balance. I assume the question refers to how I juggle the demands of being a medical/graduate student and the responsibilities of being a mother. My response was that “I do not believe in work-life balance. I take each day as it comes and [...]
Posted on November 14th, 2013 by Andrew M. Harrsion
By Joshua J. Faucher
I returned two weeks ago from the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) 2013 Annual Meeting, which took place on November 2nd in Boston, MA. It was the third PNHP Annual Meeting I have attended, and my first as a student member of the organization’s Board of Directors. I can say that the meeting was a rousing success, and that we had a record number of attendees (including over 130 medical and health professional students – the largest number ever)! Can I say, however, that we are approaching the final realization of our goal: the implementation of single-payer national health [...]
Posted on October 31st, 2013 by Danielle Miranda
By Wells B. LaRiviere
Perhaps one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given came during my final year at Reed College. In the midst of a departmental meeting, a professor exhorted the seniors to select a thesis topic that we cared so deeply about that we would work tirelessly on it, even “during the darkest days of February,” to see through its completion.
It helps to have lived in Portland to understand just how deeply he felt about motivation, because it gets really dark in the depths of the Portland winter. Still, even if you have never set foot in Oregon, I think it’s easy to relate to his words. In education, there is a sense that one is constantly trying to catch up; running a gauntlet of never-ending hurdles, each yet higher than the last. Each mistake or misstep seems crushingly disappointing, and often there is the temptation to surrender to self-doubt. No matter how dark February gets in your part of the world, pursuing academics is always an inherently difficult task.
Posted on October 17th, 2013 by Danielle Miranda
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual...The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
– Carl Sagan
Close to 100 scientists and religious community members gathered in Geffen Auditorium this past Monday night to hear evidence from Dr. Fazale “Fuz” Rana describing the logical intimacy of science and religion. Listeners embraced the challenge of identifying their own beliefs and were encouraged to evaluate the framework through which they orientate their lives. Although I cannot do justice to the complexity of arguments in this summary, I hope to mirror the theme of the presentation and challenge all readers with the question, “Are science and religion mutually exclusive?” Intentionally, many of us have discrete answers arising from years of experience reconciling each space. However, I ask you to read the first sentence of this post again and consider your reflexive interpretation of the phrase “scientists and religious community members.” Did you originally perceive this to describe unique individuals in attendance with competing viewpoints, people who identify singularly with science or religion yet inform their worldview with the other, or a single group of people unified in their beliefs. I believe our response is indicative of our current perspective. Much like being a “father and husband” does not preclude one from the other, Dr. Rana proposes being a scientist and believer are entirely complementary foundations granted by God.