Surfing the Internet, scrolling through images of things that are supposed to make your already simple life, well...simpler. They're called "life hacks"; carry all your grocery bags in one trip with a carabiner, velcro your remote to your table so you won't lose it, freeze coffee in ice trays to keep your iced coffee cold without watering it down, use Doritos as fire kindling, remove stems of strawberries by...*ding*
It's a notification; an email from our program director:
"As I mentioned this morning, the questions to consider this week for your blog posts are as follows: Even in this era of information abundantly available through the Internet, you still chose to dedicate yourself as a researcher, collecting and analyzing your own data…”
The question is if researching is still relevant today... Well, yeah. The people thinking of so-called “life hacks” spent their time and energy researching and publishing. Perhaps not publishing in a peer-reviewed journal or researching out in the field, but nevertheless, these individuals conducted sound, somewhat questionable, data collection with visible conclusions.
While I don’t plan to become an internet sensation, I still have hope that my work as a researcher can make a difference in some way in the world. Since I began this REU, I have realized that research is more about seeing long term goals but focusing on short term tasks. While I want to solve all of the problems that we have presented, it is clear that it will take more than one summer or one group of people to solve hefty research questions.
I now hope to change the world by laying a foundation that can be studied in the future. From this foundation, future researchers can learn from my mistakes or build on my successes. I look forward to seeing this research unfold as time goes on.
So, in the words of Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”