This week I was designated as a staff to work for the Wu Da-You Science Camp, and helped this activity go smoothly. In fact, I had never consciously heard of this camp until the day the poster of this camp appeared on the bulletin of the institute this May.
There were so many things I learned during the camp, and in the following paragraphs I would like to briefly describe and share some of those lessons.
Make friends with expertise in various fields
In this camp, one thing I have never expected is to meet my roommate, who enlightened me on the cutting-edge genetic technique applied on neuroscience. Before learning enormous knowledge of fluorescence microscopy from my roommate, I read many papers but without actually knowing how the researchers acquire their data with advanced optic microscopy tech, such as confocal, two-photo, light sheet microscopies. After a three-hours-long asking, I eventually had a rudimentary knowledge to organize the information I read on the paper, and predict what questions I could answer through those equipment. Without my roommate, I would have spent months long acquainting those techniques. I was fortunate to have this fantastic roommate, who led me to go through the barrier of unfamiliar discipline and move forward to conquer the problem with apposite tools.
In the light of the rapid progress in many disciplines, it’s impossible to be the expert across several fields, and it’s time to work with others. And remember, more hungry to acquire the knowledge you don’t know, more humble you will be, because you will find how small we are and how little we know in the universe.
Small world: from people to neurons
In Friday afternoon, I finally had opportunity to talk to students, because my job was to look after 3 groups of students while they were hiking in XiTou. In the middle of the tour, one student came to me and asked whether I am the brother of his high school friend. And the answer is yes. Both of us were amazed by this coincidence. The close relationship between two people in the society is called small world, of which theory that proposed that every randomly picked two people in the world, no matter how far they live, could be linked through the 6 people at most.
I was wondering whether this small-world connection of network happens more easily than the other network (i.e., regular and random one) or this small-world network only occurs in some specific conditions. The neuroscientists, who aim to seek the connection among different regions in the brain, have corroborated the network in our brain is exactly the small world, which might share the same occurring mechanism with social network. Social network might infer the plausible way of developing the small-world network in our brain, which is pivotal to understand how the neurons project the axons and receive input via dendritic spines.
What the Prof. Sun Wei-Hsin taught me.
Educating the public might also benefit the scientific research.
If there are more people understand the research we are doing and the questions we want to answer, it’s highly possible that more brilliant students would come to join us, more citizens would vote for representatives who advocate our research, and more funds would support our studies.
On the other hand, I thought communicating to the public offers a valuable chance to emend our direction of the research to fruitfully contribute to humanity. And through the interaction with the people who are in need, our belief will profoundly reinforce and aid us to cross the difficulty and keep looking for the truth.
If we want to do everything without haste, the best principle to reach the state of composure is being early. Preparing everything beforehand allows us remain more time to cope with the accident, and more time to think, which is the key to prioritize , to choose among options and to preform correctly and efficiently.
Balance – how delightful the thing you work with determines your salary.
Every day the doctors watch over those patients with unpleasant diseases or defects; Lawyers handle the uncomfortable cases with the lowest moral standard and despicable acts. The astronomers, however, stare at the sky, finding the most splendid and beautiful scenes and events happening in our universe. Given the things they encounter every time they work, if the astronomers earn the least compared to two other vocations, it sounds fair enough.
(to be continued ~)