Finding people to talk about themselves is hard

I’m working on two different projects, and I’m desperately trying to find two different types of people to talk to me. You’d not think this is so hard, but apparently when you want to tell people’s stories in their words, they hide in plain site. That’s why I’m here writing this post in hopes that my readers will see this and spread the word for me a little further.

Project NIH

Recently the impact of the sequester is starting to hit academia hard. You can see any number of examples if you just look. CNN Money, Science Insider, and Huffington Post are just some of the ones to jump on the bandwagon to reporting the multitude of labs shutting down. Then, if you go to Twitter with the hashtag #NIHSequesterImpacts you’ll see a slew more of people speaking up. There is even a survey pointing out how many layoffs we can expect in the science industry — though this mostly focuses on academia.

I took up the challenge of finding three scientists out of these supposedly hundreds of labs that have been impacted and laying people off, but I can’t find a single one. Either all these places are lying, or these laid off scientists have to be there. The AAAS blogger team and I would like to put names and faces with these stories so it’s not just another statistic out there. We want to show the human side of all this, share their stories, and really bring the facts to the open. If you, or anyone you know, is one of these scientists, I want to write your story. It doesn’t matter if you are an undergrad, master’s, or Ph.D. student. You could be any level of professor, student or technician. The only qualification you must meet is to be one of these that have been laid off and willing to put your name and face with the story.

Project Scientist

With all the negative things happening due to Congress and administrators not being able to make a sustainable and flexible budget, it’s more important than ever to continue on with my scientist interviews for Insanitek Ink. One of the major concerns is that the intellectuals will just up and leave America for more prosperous grounds. Frankly, who can blame them? Anyone with any business sense and the capabilities to do it will make a run for more fertile grounds. The problem with this is that it leaves these grounds intellectually bankrupt.

Alas, if they must leave, I ask that they leave behind words of hope in the form of telling the following generations what is so great about their field, what the challenges are, and how the community of non-scientists and scientists in training can help them. This is taking a step back to the old school way of doing science, where science was partly for the love of science, but also for the good of the community. The Industrial Era is a long time past, but it may be what’s needed to respark the community’s interest in science to the point of pushing their politicians to listen. Or, you could do it for the children.

Again, if you or anyone you know is willing to step forward and speak up for your field, let me know.