One of the things I love the most of being a researcher in training is that amazing feeling of noticing things. If you are working in Metallurgy, a simple piece of broken metal could be a “crime scene” where you are trying to see what was the cause of failure, looking for the characteristics of a ductile fracture or signals of fatigue. I guess something similar happens to my fellow researchers in different fields when they see a rock, a tree or a bird flying over their heads. However, at some point, you will find an article about some concerned group of citizens saying that “this” is threatening their health or “that” is a complex hoax for global control. If by luck you work in the field of that discussion, maybe you will sit and say – well, as far as I am concerned “that” will not kill you and “these” are not going to be implanted in your brain – but who knows, right?
Some conspiracy theories may have minimal to no fundament, but some others make you think for a moment. As people of science, how do we know where the truth is? I believe we should first forget about that romantic approach where there are only good guys and bad guys. There are bad people in the world for sure, but not because of that, every corporation is an evil entity trying to control our life or every government is completely corrupt. Almost everything in this life is drawn using a grayscale, even we, ourselves, are not entirely good or bad. If we insist on seeing the world just as a two-color scheme, we will miss most of the important information, leading to more confusion, hate and fear. Every graduate student is specializing in a narrow area of human knowledge, hence having a high-resolution photograph of some important problems. If at some point your research guides the perception of the world towards a new direction, you will be contributing to distinguishing between the villain and the hero, until we finally reveal the real picture. It will probably be complex and hard to look at, but it will be the real one, full of defects and virtues just as a human itself.
Banner image by GradLife McGill Blogger Luis Villegas