Biology, the study of life, as I always tell my friends. It’s so much more than that.
Biology talks about the internal milieu of our human bodies, the interactions of living organisms with the environment, how the environment shapes our behaviors and also physical appearances, and how we came about.
But often, the lines between sciences blur when boundaries are crossed. The alteration in the molecular pathways in neurons can affect our mind and behavior, which in turn changes the way we interact with people around us or the environment. But it doesn’t just stop there. The interactions of people within a community pave the way for the establishment of social norms and cultures, and also govern the development of constitutional law that serves the rights of the people. And it all zooms down to how the brain functions, which till now, we still do not have a complete idea what is contained within.
I don’t always love science, at least not when I was younger. I was in science because I can’t do well in arts, probably due to my poor command of language. Whereas for science, content matters more than the expression of the content. At least up till tertiary education, where communicating science takes on a whole new level. In fact, I am happy with where I am. So if given a second chance, I would still choose the path down science discovery.
Ideas are always scattered in my mind like bullet points scrambled around the PowerPoint slides. Till this day, I am still unable to link up all the ideas in succession into a beautiful constellation and translate them across to the audience. So whenever I listen to someone deliver a speech/lesson on science across to the audience with such charisma, I am always in awe.
Science isn’t just a field that excludes the non-science. Many scientists and science journalists have been reaching out to the general public, simplifying grossly worded and intentionally sophisticated scientific journal paper into engaging and entertaining articles. Science communication, they call it, is about helping everyone understand the development and discovery in science, which may in many ways affect their lives unknowingly to them. Knowing simple terms like blood cholesterol or antibiotics is pretty much the same as understanding the concept of down-payment and recession. One difference is how much it affects your life that you’ll have to read up on it in order to continue on with your journey.
The list is not exhaustive and there are many more writers out there trying to bring science to the rest of the world.
As such, the idea of applying for a PhD has crossed my mind a few times. The autonomy (partially) of discovering and diving deeper into a field does pique my interest. Then again, I always reflect back on what I want and what I can. Unfortunately, these two aspects don’t always see eye to eye. Though they may have crossed shoulders in some point of my life, but only for a brief period. Since then, science comprehension has eluded me most of the time.
I still love reading the articles nevertheless. And hopefully one day, I’ll pick myself up and truly appreciate the beauty of science and spread the passion.
Just in case you missed out on the links above:
Ed Yong – Not Exactly Rocket Science
Ilana Yurkiewicz – Unofficial Prognosis
Suzi Gage – Sifting the Evidence
Peter Lipson – White Coat Underground
Virginia Hughes – Only Human