Defense Date?

It’s weird to be at this point when I’m considering being done with my PhD.  I feel like the last five years I’ve never had a hard deadline to meet.  I didn’t have x number of classes to finish or exams to complete.  I just needed to get my research to a point where I know how to think about the problem and come up with a solution (and then publish that solution, finding, etc.).

But suddenly, I have a deadline; I have a date (ish).  And it’s all very overwhelming, but exciting.  I’m both relieved and a bit sad.  Because what am I going to do now?

I don’t have an answer, but the ideas thrown around seem to all contain one thing in common.  Writing.  I guess I have a creative side that desires something more than just hard science.

So I’ve spent a lot of time meeting with different science writers and communicators trying to figure out what I’m passionate about.  I go to networking coffee events.  I’ve even got a science writing workshop lined up this month.

And what I’ve realized is that there is a real need for scientists to communicate with other scientists.  Science is becoming very interdisciplinary.  Often, a biologist and a physicist need to communicate, but they speak different scientific languages.  So how do they communicate?  How do they understand papers from the other field?

But even bigger than that is how do scientists communicate with the general public?  How do we turn the black box of scientific research into an accessible, tangible reality for non-scientists?  That is an important question that I’m not qualified to answer, but I’d like to look into it more.

So here I am (almost) at the end of one road attempting to figure out the next one to turn on.  I’ll be spending lots of time in prayer and reflection, listening and hoping for God’s voice to point me somewhere.  Until then, I could use some prayers for good data, the end of writer’s block, and confidence 🙂