September 2, 2012
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Genophoria is a portmanteau of “genomics” and “euphoria” and no, it’s not the opposite of genophobia (which is fear of sex). However, I wish I could say that the pun was not intended. Now, what is my mission? Simply put, my goal is to make my field of study more accessible to the masses. Why is it that what we do is done the way we do it? What are the day to day consequences or is there an overarching story behind a study? I do realize that these posts may just be me rambling about science, the scientific method and common sense. But where is the harm i that? I do believe that scientists and academics need to leave their ivory towers and do a much better job of informing the masses. There was a time that science was “cool”. After World War II, you could even imagine a scientist as president. But not anymore… those days are gone. As researchers shrugged off their newfound glory and retreated into the comfort of their academic bubble, we lost a golden opportunity. We lost our chance to be part of the policy making process and bring the rigorous scientific tools at our disposal into the realm of politics. Now, 50 years on… we have all but lost. Now, geeks are just that, GEEKS.
However, I refuse to believe that we cannot change this. I think that we can still win the heart and minds of the masses and show them that science is not just an everlasting endeavor in pursuit of knowledge, but rather it is so much more than that. It’s a way of life, it’s a worldview, it’s a way of doing things. And everyone should take part in it… everyone should rejoice in a new discovery not but watching it happen on TV but by being part of it. I might not possess the knowledge to send a rover to Mars, but I can be part of the culture that enabled it to happen. A culture that does value curiosity adventure and the power of knowledge.