Reblog: Nonfiction comments to a Ph. D student (and the science of my awkward responses)

Science Non-Fiction

My life as a Ph. D student is in some ways similar to life on a small isolated country. I have (perhaps foolishly) moved there willingly, and I intimately know a number of the residents. I have come to share with the inhabitants their remarkably common lifestyles, similar viewpoints, and a love for bar trivia.

It is often believed that we natives of this isolated country are innately taciturn, with a breeding that renders us paralyzed in the face of normal social interaction. In reality, we are mainly trained to make our chaotic stew of scientific thought into something useful to the public. Any Ph. D student who has defended a qualifying exam, a dissertation, or received harsh comments from publication reviewers has experienced those challenging, aggravating, and all around exciting moments as we dexterously communicate blips of our academic thinking.

It might be surprising, then, that once I leave…

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