Now that the first weeks are done, I’ve had time to talk to my fellow peers and understand a greater depth of each of their projects which have been fascinating. With my acceptance into the Brackenridge fellowship, my hopes were to better learn from all of you how I could take my research a step further and implement it into a wider field than just medicine. But after hearing about some of the different projects going on my hopes shifted, not just as a benefit towards my project but to learning and expanding my horizons with others. Since high school, I’ve realized I’ve been stuck in what I call a ‘Science Bubble’ where the only things I ever take time to analyze are in the realms of natural science.
Hearing everyone I’ve talked to discuss their projects, everyone is passionate about everything, bringing new angles to fields I would have never even thought about. To read about how some of you are investigating far-right extremism and its context in music to examining Russian propaganda in Turkey or how social media impacts the public image of COVID-19 and so many more I find so fascinating. As someone who has always been encapsulated by the cosmos, while not in my cohort, I am particularly interested in one of our fellows’ research on their analysis of type Ia supernovae. Another fellows’ research is on my hometown, Reading Pennsylvania. The analysis of the city’s state has been something I’ve thought about since high school and I am beyond excited to hear about their findings at the end of the Summer!
In terms of my project, I hope to gain a better understanding of how research in the social sciences is conducted. Establishing effective treatments for gene therapies is important not only because gene therapy is the next big leap in modern medicine but it can open up many avenues for improvement in the sociology of health care. Certain diseases like Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Anemia affect Northern European as well as African, Middle Eastern, and Indian populations respectively, at much higher rates than others. Finding treatment for these diseases can unlock a more comprehensive public health response that can impact different communities with fairness and equality. It is my hope that I can take the knowledge I learn from those study sociology projects that I can start to translate my research, once complete, outside medicine and into the sociology of public health based on communities.
I feel that working across disciplines will help all of us as researchers to grow our worldviews, and establish connections with each other which allows us to build off each other’s research. Developing projects that can be adapted to suit a wide range of people and not just a small subset is why we’re all here. All of us have our own similarities and differences in our research projects, from whole topics and approaches to each project or close enough as a sister field of our research. This allows us to relate and differ in ways to view different angles of each project on how to further adapt it into our field. Working with people across disciplines provides a crucial aspect to any research and that is the translation of research to the average person. All of us can benefit from each other by explaining and refining how we present our research to others who may not understand a more tangible idea. By all of us coming into this fellowship with different backgrounds and experiences allows us to refine the communication of our projects to those who are not contained within our field.
Our work together in this program is one of a kind. Every project I have come across seems to be fascinating, and reading about each helps to shed new light and importance onto each. No matter the difference in our projects we can all find ways to learn and build off each other. By learning from each other’s research methods we can approach our own research from a unique perspective that allows us to gain a more holistic outcome!