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Tech & Science If You're Feeling Uncertain, Welcome To The Mind Of A Scientist

05:05  26 march  2020
05:05  26 march  2020 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

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Maybe scientists have a role to play here beyond the hard work going on to understand this new coronavirus, chasing vaccines and new drugs? There’s an opportunity here for scientists to lead by example, both in the way we act and the way we communicate. To show the way in dealing with

Oftentimes, when we feel uncertain about an idea or situation, we tend to shrink away from it because of a fear, insecurity or anxiety. So, the next time you ’ re feeling uncertain about something, get excited about it because limitless possibilities are at your Welcome to a place where words matter.

a screen shot of a computer: Image: iStock © iStock Image: iStock

Watching the world adjust to the horrific new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, has led me to contemplate a much more important lesson we might be learning together as we face this crisis.

We’ve all been ripped out of our comfort zones, with so much of the familiar rhythm of daily life suddenly replaced by a pervasive, visceral uncertainty.

So many questions without answers. So many experts with differing views. A brutal realisation that things don’t work the way we always thought. Seeing infinite shades of grey instead of that comforting black and white world.

Sound familiar?

Welcome to the mind of a scientist.

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[A feeling that] I’m not sure I want to do this – but a sense of no turning back, you ’ re here and you’ve got to go through this. This intense journey took place entirely within her own mind – induced by "And I felt like I arrived in some consciousness soup which seemed like a different realm to the one I

Coldplay "The Scientist ": Come up to meet you , tell you I'm sorry You don't know how lovely you are I had to find you Tell yo Tell me you love me Come back and haunt me Oh, and I rush to the start. It's weird that whatever else is on your mind , whether it's the downfall of global economics or

Uncertainty is unnerving – but you can learn to live with it

When this feeling dawned on me years ago on one of many early morning drives to Canberra during my PhD, it was almost crippling.

Digging deep into the mysteries of biochemistry and molecular biology – the ghosts in the machine of life itself – can do that. It can be an incredibly challenging, even unnerving experience.

But I learned to let that uncertainty wash over me. Like being caught in a rip in the surf, resistance just tires you out and makes things worse. After swimming around in it for a while I soon learned to float.

I even managed to crack a wave or two.

I wonder if this shows us one potential way through the viral-induced trauma surrounding us? We are all faced with rapidly shifting information and advice. What is true at 8am might not be by 6pm.

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See more of The Mind of the Uncertain on Facebook. I think I've to learn to feel this emotion again." Grief is always associated with rain anyway. While you were flying across galaxies, the ropes around my feet tightened. With every step you took towards your dream, I came closer to my inevitable

Scientists monitored him as he spoke aloud about his state of mind in jumbled, slurred sentences that he couldn’t even hear. After four days, the man claimed to be hearing hushed, unintelligible voices in his head. Assuming it was an onset of psychosis, the scientists paid little attention to the man’s concerns.

A role for scientists

Maybe scientists have a role to play here beyond the hard work going on to understand this new coronavirus, chasing vaccines and new drugs? We are comfortable swimming in the unfamiliar, we know how to float on a sea of uncertainty. We know it’s OK to say “I don’t know” or “good question”.

There’s an opportunity here for scientists to lead by example, both in the way we act and the way we communicate. To show the way in dealing with uncertainty, with changing information, and with appropriate responses.

But we need to start from a place of empathy. People are anxious and scared and we should acknowledge that. They want clear information and advice, based on best available data, not to be lectured or patronised. And scientists should be upfront about the fact that the advice may change – rapidly – or be slightly different to the next person’s.

Uncertainty and public messaging

We need, as a society, to become more comfortable with doubt and uncertainty in public, politics and business.

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C. Of all the sciences psychology was then the youngest and least scientific which most captivated the general public and had the most destructive effect upon For a poorer family, the daily diet was likely to consist of a few ounces of tea and sugar, some vegetables, a slice or two of cheese and, just

Just popping in to send you all my love and prayers in this unprecedented time in history. I have some thoughts on how we can approach our planning in these

I’m OK with public messaging reflecting that. We’re so used to politicians holding a particular line on an issue, but the COVID-19 crisis has shown it doesn’t work when the situation is fluid and dynamic.

Maybe I’m just more comfortable with that as a scientist. Politicians absolutely have to be held to account but there should also be space for their positions to evolve – genuinely – with evidence.

We can change

Our sudden interest in disinfectants and hand washing, had me reflecting on my early days in a research lab.

Learning how to grow human cells without contamination by bacteria and yeast, or setting yourself on fire, takes some learning.

“Don’t touch that!”

“No, not that way!”

“What did you do that for?”

“No, hold it like this.”

It’s not intuitive. It takes real concentration – until it doesn’t anymore. Deeply ingrained habits and muscle memories have to be erased and rewritten. It’s hard, frustrating work.

It feels like the whole planet is sharing a similar experience now, but the stakes are much higher.

We can learn and change, until what was once difficult and uncomfortable becomes second nature. We’ve rapidly become much better, as a society, at things like handwashing and cough etiquette. Our relationship with uncertainty will have to change too.

Darren SaundersUNSW

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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