Saturday, July 30, 2005

Scientists do it all

I think many people picture scientists sitting around their labs at all hours of the day and night plugging numbers into their algorithms, making super-smart rats with their gene guns, and cleaning their pocket protectors with bleach and 70% ethanol. True, we sometimes fall victim to such activities, but you may be surprised to learn that a lot of students, faculty, and post docs find themselves running out the lab door in the evenings to pursue other interests.

A few of us were sitting around yesterday talking about what our fellow classmates/faculty do in their free time, and I was amazed at the diversity of interests within our program. We have:

2 martial arts black belts who are also personal trainers in the evenings
2 people who coach at local schools (swimming and soccer)
a dozen or so "artists", some of whom compete in various art festivals every year
2 students and three faculty who are into making short films for various regional competitions and for fun
3 people (1 student and 2 faculty members) who are in bands
at least 20 people who either play instruments, sing, or both
5 freelance writers
1 person who does public policy work
5 knitters who sometimes hold knitting clubs that I've heard can be fun despite the grandma-associated stigma

In addition to individual activities, we have a program-sponsored softball team (and soon to be volleyball team if I have anything to say about it), several pretty cool book clubs, and a weekly "tea party" where students, faculty, and staff come together to discuss how neuroscience impacts art, ethics, policy, and education over cookies, tea, and wine. I'm sure if we had talked about the topic longer, we would have come up with more people who participate in these activities and probably some other interesting things that people are doing outside of science.

It's amazing how interesting people are when you look at them outside of their work environment. I think the days of the geeky, science-obsessed nerds are over--we are multidimensional and fabulous.


At 7:54 PM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

the people I adore the most are the ones who have some engrossing passion they do during the day (work or school type thing) and then some incredible talent they foster in their own time (like the ones you mentioned). I think it makes for a well-rounded scientist (hard or "soft"). I especially like it when they seem incongruent, like my extreme neuro-nerd friend who was an extremely talented ballet dancer.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I like the ones who are scientists by day and hookers by night, but ballet dancer is also extremely cool (just kidding about the hooker thing).

It is well worth the effort to dig around and find out what people do when they aren't at work. It's absolutely amazing. I have always found it interesting that so many scientists I know are involved in the arts at a level well above that of "dabbling". Talk about having tremendous left brain AND right brain skills.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger : Joseph j7uy5 said...

Does blogging count as a dimension in being multidimentional? Or computer modding? Probably not.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger sue said...

Awww... we always knew it.


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