Sunday, May 30, 2010

So what?

As a doctoral student at Bowling Green State University, I along with my fellow students have a wide variety of research interests. However, it seems we are always trying to answer the question, "SO WHAT?". Or "why should people care?" One of my all-time favorite professors at Kent State, the late Larry Hugenberg once said, "you could probably take about 99 percent of all academic research and throw it in a pile in the parking lot and burn it (due to the so what question)." There is an issue with academia in that on one hand, you are looked at as a "sell out" if you try to reach beyond the academic journals and go "mainstream" to reach a wider audience BUT on the other hand, if you keep your research interests or projects inside the academic circles, who really benefits from your research? Case in point: my best friend here in Toledo did her dissertation on the retention of minority students in medical colleges across the country. She loooked at the factors that cause minority medical students who stay in the program and the factors that cause students to drop out. I applaud her massive effort to gather data and assemble her dissertation. Her dissertation led her to do presentations at several conferences across the country and it led to her getting a promotion at the University of Toledo. My friend was truly motivated to carry out her research because it was personal to her and she wanted to make a difference. My friend's work could not have made the impact it has if she would have confined it to academic journals. Thankfully, one of my professors said recently that one of the major academic communication organizations is softening its stance on reaching out beyond its walls to a wider audience.

Ironically, the Plain Dealer of Cleveland has an article (May 30, 2010) about a guy who is battling an issue to publish his research about a possible cancer-cell-killing project of his.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't Tase Me, Bro!

Recently, a Philadelphia Phillies fan ran onto the field and had a good old time eluding security. The guy is apparently very fast but not fast enough to outrun a taser gun as he slid nicely after getting jolted. Now, the debate is whether this was excessive force. Fans have run onto the field before. Here's a drunken Browns fan who paid the price.

And then, there's the occasional drunken wrestling fan...

Basically, my point is that I'm not sure the taser is that "excessive" considering the danger the other incidents have shown. A football fan getting slammed could have been paralyzed. Same with the wrestling idiot.