Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't take away my peanuts...

Two weeks ago medical researchers from around the country marched in various capital cities to rally for research against proposed budget cuts to funding for medical research.

There is grave concerns over the proposed cuts to medical research to be announced in this year's federal budget. Many have voiced their concerns across the media. There are many pages and groups to go to find out more. Discoveries Need Dollars If these cuts eventuate (econocrazies put a $129billion tag) this will be to our nation's detriment.     

There are inherent problems with the existing system that need urgent attention - all I need to do is to look at the growing number of peers who opt out - disillusioned because of a lack of support for following a career path in research. This may be a related issue, however clearly something is wrong. We need more funding - not cuts - and more emphasis on retaining quality researchers at all levels, not just those with established track records who still struggle but manage to survive for another 3 years. Cuts to medical research will halt vital research to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases and improve the health of Australians. It just doesn't make sense.

Sprague Dawley encapsulates the frustration
If you want to do something about it- sign this petition and send it to Parliament before the 29th April 2011 and we'll see what happens to the future of medical research in this country.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How do you perceive intelligence?

Is there a limit to the capacity to absorb, retain and understand information?
(What can I muster?)
Is it just a matter of putting in the necessary effort until you can understand and analyse information?  
(Am I the master?)

I'd like to believe it's a skill that can be mastered as we all learn something  (eg. geography, recall, discipline or ways of avoiding work) from going to school, training, and practicing. However, sometimes there is a  sense of restriction to the amount of information I am capable of understanding, because I can't be bothered doing all the necessary research, or, deflecting the fact that I cannot possibly understand the mechanisms.   
To make things more difficult, the belief may be plastic and perception of intelligence is reflect by mood. That is, under some conditions (confidence and support) intelligence can be attained, while other instances it  is restricted by low self-esteem, distraction and inattention. It may be logical to think like a Vulcan but sometimes you need passion and perseverance to help get you there! 

Check out Art Markman's thoughts on a 2011 study by Miele, Finn, and Molden in Psychological Science.