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What Connects Us

What Connects Us

Dear Students,
Last week, CNS hosted author and scientist Joseph Osmundson, who gave a talk that was both moving and fascinating. One thing really resonated with me as Dr. Osmundson read passages from his new book Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between. What was special about this talk was how the science was woven together seamlessly with the personal. When he talked about the biology of viruses such as phage lambda, HIV and SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19), Dr. Osmundson illustrated shared principles of viral function. This was real biology, not unlike what you might be covering in your microbiology class. But there was also the story of a close friend whose life was taken by a viral infection, the flu. That story came alongside Dr. Osmundson's other personal reflections from his life as a self-described queer virologist—his frustrations, heartaches and triumphs.

We tend to think that, as scientists and mathematicians, we need to leave our feelings and our identity at the door of the lab. Dr. Osmundson's talk reminded me that these personal things, as unscientific as they may seem, are ultimately what connect us to our science and to each other. Sharing about our personal experiences helps us navigate the tribulations of science, but also helps us communicate to others the beauty and import of our work. We're scientists, but we're humans first. Let's own that.

Best,
Dr. Drew
P.S. It's the last week of class!


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Friday, 09 December 2022

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