Here are some good articles that I’ve “written” about before by posting them to my Facebook.
Though I recognize that the products created in Silicon Valley and by pharma/biotech are quite different, I would argue that these arrogant attitudes are common to both communities. In the realm of healthcare - where many of our problems are literally matters of life or death - who is being left behind? And why are our brightest minds not more concerned with those people? It’s also why I get so angry when people tell me things like, “You’re getting a bioengineering PhD and you don’t want to do academia? Oh, well of course you’re going into biotech, there are no other reasonable options.”
Confession: the reason I’m not following or responding to election shenanigans is that I’m embarrassed for my people. I am ashamed to be a white American. “And keep in mind, whiteness is still invisible. And white people have invested so much in making it that way. Maybe you’ve illuminated it for a hot second by shining a spotlight on Trump and connecting him to it – and as long as that’s a diversionary tactic, as long as he’s an aberration, everybody is gonna stay on the bus. But when you spin that spotlight toward the audience? 96th Street, my dude.” [96th st reference: “Mass white exodus time, like when the 2 train hits 96th Street”]
In November, I posted: ‘As I stand on the verge of choosing what kind of research I want to dedicate the next five years (or maybe more) of my life to, I struggle to reconcile the parts of me that want to change the world with the parts of me that want to be absolutely sure that I will not leave things worse off than before.’ Now that I’ve found a happy lab home and am out of survival mode, the question’s had space to change: how can I do more than simply ‘not leave things worse off than before’ - how can I contribute to creating solutions that address the root causes of inequality and injustice, rather than merely their symptoms? That actually improve the world, but disproportionately so for the disadvantaged? That make it harder for the privileged - people like me! like us! - to coast by on their hard-but-all-things-considered-not-_that_-hard-earned success? And how does getting a PhD from MIT fit with all that? And how I could become confident about writing “we” instead of “I” in the previous paragraph? My dear grad school friends, I need your help with this last one. :)
“After all, relationships and community impose constraints on freedom, binding people to something larger than themselves.” I think this statement is true and beautiful and that our knee-jerk responses to it probably say a lot about what kinds of relationships we have and value. :)
As I stand on the verge of choosing what kind of research I want to dedicate the next five years (or maybe more) of my life to, I struggle to reconcile the parts of me that want to change the world with the parts of me that want to be absolutely sure that I will not leave things worse off than before. If you’ve ever heard me talk about how before last year, all I wanted was to do was focus on technologies for developing countries but now, after living in Cambodia for a year, I’m not so sure - this article explains a lot of it.