Thursday, March 14, 2013

End of My Hiatus

Wow, it has been almost 2 years since my last blog post!

I did not mean to go this long without blogging, but I have been very busy at work and at home.  After my last blog, I took a 3 week vacation with my family.  We took a road trip of the Western and Midwestern states.  It was an eye opener!  I did not realize just how severe poverty was in the US until I traveled through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.  What are the major factors? Weather, drought, industrial collapse, racism?  I do not fully understand what has happened in these states, but it is heartbreaking.  I have no idea what the solution is, nor do I know how long it will take to turn these areas around.  I doubt that casinos, fast food companies, and retail malls are the answer, but these were the only infrastructure remaining in some of these places.  This lead me to rethink my priorities, thus I spent the last year and nine months focused on my work and family.

I am rejoining the blogging community!  I have so much to say and this is the best format.  True to my original intent, I will blog about science.  Not that knitting is not interesting.....   Instead, I previously used my hobby as an outlet to deal with an ugliness of science that is not easy to discuss.  No more hiding behind K1, P2!

It is tempting to address numerous issues plaguing the scientific community, including misconduct, fraud, plagiarism, retractions, funding inequities, and gender bias.  All I can say is "maybe".  These are difficult issues, often with no clear answer.  And there are some very nice sites such as Retraction Watch that do a much better job highlighting these problems than I could ever do.

A more progressive approach is to move into open-science, open-access, crowd funding, and independent science.  Rather than use my energy to attack what is wrong with the system, I want to walk away from the mess and build a new community.  The best part is that I have seen examples of like minded people.  Rocket Hub and Petri Dish are examples of a movement to use crowd funding to finance science. Ethan Perlstein and Jacob Shiach are pioneers as independent scientists, flying without the safety net of academia.  And the Open Science Federation is blazing a path for future scientists.  Really, it is more rewarding to redefine a successful science career, than to continue to point out who is unethical, who is cheating, and who is a fraud.

Coming Soon: new blog layout!  And old blog purge........