Monday, June 15, 2009


I tend to be slow and resistant to new technologies. I didn't own a computer until I started grad school (2002). I didn't get a cell phone until by parents gave me one on my birthday (2004). I only started blogging last year (very hesitantly at that). Although I've had an apple computer from the onset and have had an ipod for the last three years it was not until last year that I started to explore podcasts. Actually, just one, Japanesepod101 for learning Japanese, and not until last week that I started listening to science related podcasts and realized that I have been missing something great.
A couple of years ago I heard a talk by Peter Fiske. He mostly talked about exploring other careers outside of academia for phds. He described that being a grad student is like living in a small, dark room. You have a very narrow focus and then coming from that into the real world can be shocking. So it is important to keep abreast of the many developments in the scientific world, not just one's own field. Last week I read a discussion of whether listening to an ipod is good for lab work. There was a bit of a debate in the comments, but I was struck by one comment, saying that listening to science podcasts made lab work bearable. I was intrigued. I was resistant to podcasts because I don't like talk radio, such as NPR and I envisioned it to be something similar. However in my beginer experience I found that science magazine editors interview on interesting topics in an inteligent way. It was repfreshing and stimulating. I found that listening to great scientists talk about their work is both educational and inspirational. It reaffirms my desire to do something that educates the publish about life science research.

Update: I've since found that not all podcasts are created equal. Nature has a great podcast, whereas the one made by Science is a bit dry for my taste.

No comments: