I work in an industry plagued with negative images and reports. Sadly the vast majority are misleading, falsified, spin doctored, antiquated, and just flat out wrong. So I spend a great deal of time dedicated to outreach. Letting the world know that biomedical research is not only necessary and amazing science, but I also have one of the coolest jobs on the planet.
On this National Take Your Kids to Work Day, I would relish the opportunity to bring my son to witness me in my position, to arm him with the knowledge that bio med and a career in science is not only cool but downright important and prestigious. That mommy has worked to cure grandma’s blindness, to help patients with cancer, and new techniques for better surgery. Unfortunately he is too young to bring to my work due to certain policies….this year. My son knows what I do, I speak freely about my successes and struggles. It’s important he knows this. When he is of age he will indeed come to work with me and see me use the skills I teach him daily like focus on a task until complete, treat the janitor and the Dean with the same respect, address people by name and look them in the eye, when something or some one is found wrong take the correct steps to fix the problem and address how it will not happen again, education and hard work got me to the position I am in, and most of all do what you love.
So to those of you who can take your kids, please do so for the many reasons listed above and for some of your own. For those of you in biomedical research, show them the reality and arm them with the knowledge to speak freely about the advances in science, to be able to curtail the hearsay, and maybe even spur another child’s interest in science.
I should say that while I cannot bring my child today, I have spent many hours with middle school children who grossly misunderstood biomedical research but when they left my facility, had a renewed interest in science and their paradigms completely changed.