Have you ever read the title of a scientific article and thought, was any of that even English? Yeah, I’ve been there too!
In the pursuit of higher education, I have found that there is a huge barrier to entry to cutting-edge, high impact research and the average curious reader(see what I mean? There is definitely and simpler way to phrase that). Basically, it’s hard to find summaries of science articles that are written in plain language. But science is important, and most of it isn’t rocket science. So why do they make it so hard to understand!? Without a degree in molecular biology it is difficult to tap into the expansive knowledge databases like PubMed or the Journal of the American Medical Association: online database that collect all past and current research in one place. From recent findings in diabetes research to studies regarding optimal sleeping patterns, this information just simply cannot be digested by those who don’t have an advanced degree. Yet, the very purpose of this research is to improve society, one scientific finding at a time.
The Purpose: Street Talk is here to bridge the gap between those that make produce knowledge and those that could potentially make use of it. Knowledge is power, and it’s important that young people are empowered with information that guides innovation. These summaries will be, to the best of my ability, void of my personal views. However, I will point out some skepticisms and potential weaknesses to demonstrate a critical reading approach that should be taken with any published literature and you should certainly take my writing with a grain of salt. By participating, even in that small way, in the overall dialogue and spread of information we can challenge our views, make informed choices and hopefully feel empowered to make change.
The Breakdown: This page is called Street Talk because I want to convey the fact that these conversations should be happening everywhere, not just in institutions of higher learning or amongst the highly educated. I have challenged myself to break down the fancy jargon into terms that everyone can understand. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I am not an expert in any of the topics I will talk about, I’m still learning and I could make mistakes. I will focus on summarizing some of the key points in a paper and may not get to all the details.
My Goals: I want to expose young people to complex topics that could have impacts on their lives. These summarizes will mostly cover things related to science, health and nutrition. For instance, you might learn what it means for a stem cell to terminally differentiate and understand why the Yamanaka factors were such an exciting discovery. I will also try to cover findings that you can apply to your daily life. If twentysomething’s are meant to be future leaders, they should be aware of what’s going on today. Democratizing information—that is what I’m striving to do.