Access to Science

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by MelT, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. I hope this might give a bit of hope to members who want to get into areas they're not qualified in to try to better themselves. I'll make it as brief as I can: volunteer.
     I'm from a fairly poor part of the UK where going to university wasn't an option when I was young unless you had money. I was/am very dyslexic, not too good with numbers either, and the level of education was pretty basic, so  I left school on the day of my fifteenth birthday with no qualifications and became a porter in a hotel. A good career move, not.
    I was interested in things like archaeology and psychology, etc., with no way of getting access to them, so I began to teach myself instead, which was okay, but not hands-on. Eventually I moved to a University town where I got a chance, like tens of others, to take part in psychological, medical, etc., tests and surveys (often paid). This was my in, and by helping out moving chairs and tables and sorting info, I got the chance to set up my own studies using parts of the University data, then do my own independently. You can also sit in on lectures of all kinds, and prompt unwary lecturers into teaching you over a cup of tea afterwards:)
    Digs were also useful. If there's an archaeological dig near you and they'll forget the health and safety rules, you can get in on the dig making tea, running errands, and with a bit of luck will get some experience and knowledge too. By volunteering, I gained access to things that were beyond what my education should have allowed. I'm not saying that this has made me a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, but it's kept me happy. 
     Long story short; dont worry that your education will hold you back if you really want to learn something or take part in it. Sport, music, anything - being there to help out and learn will open doors, you just have to turn up and show willing.

  2. Nice!

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  3. Fuck yes, its all about getting out there and learning by experience
    I've never had formal music instruction but that hasn't stopped me from learning multiple instruments, taking part in numerous bands and writing songs for the past 15 years!
  4. #4 Sam_Spade, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2014
    Absolutely, community volunteers at dig sites are a boon for researchers. Stones and bones archaeology never gets the funding needed, and it is an expensive labour-intensive venture that is filled with tedium and stiff joints.
    It's like camping in the wilderness at night and digging a ditch with a paintbrush during the day. It has a certain romance, but holy god, that romance wears off quick.
    ADDENDUM: Remind me to talk about community-based field research when I'm more sober.
     Hi Sam, sorry, I've been away for a couple of weeks.
     It can be wet, cold and miserable in a sleeping bag some nights, wishing you didn't have to go and pee behind a tree because its raining, but it is fun, and easier for me not having to do it for a living, I know:)
    ADDENDUM: Remind me to talk about community-based field research when I'm more sober.
  6. The prospects of crowd funded science, driven by societal needs is more prevalent than ever. We have a few hackerspaces in this city. These are usable office spaces converted into essentially public science forums where projects can be undertaken, knowledge shared. I think there are even sightings of mobile units as well (in the form of trailers, mini containers, compartments, etc). Even something as simple as a public usb port paved into the concrete ground or wall can express this ideal.
    The right to an education is also the right to utilizing available science and technology.
  7. look at faraday, nobody needs to bestow you with the ability to do good science. you can go out there and do it, test shit, experiment, whatever without outside help.

    it certainly helps. but there is always a way when you are driven with pursuit of science
  8. How did you volunteer? Did you go to the dig site and just volunteered or what?

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  9. #9 Sam_Spade, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2014
    I made an error, I meant to say "more shiftfaced"
    Talking shop on internet forums has rarely gotten me anywhere. With the state of affairs being as there are, I'd ask you to take a rain cheque on that on.

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