This morning while I was hanging up laundry in the basement, I was thinking about stuff. Mainly I was thinking about the clever, interesting people at the party yesterday and trying to figure out how I could spend more time with, or maybe work with, clever, interesting people like that. (Not that I didn't work with clever, interesting people in software; in fact, that's one of my favourite things about software. Love me some geeks.) I was casting my mind about, musing on this and that, on academia and science and research and clever people doing interesting things, when it came to me:
I don't want to do science.
I don't know why that seemed like such a bombshell, but it seemed very exciting at the time. (It doesn't take much when you're hanging cold wet t-shirts in a cold wet basement.) I love science, I love facts, I love knowing about the latest studies and ideas, but I don't want to do the research myself. I'm more interested in getting things done (with the best new knowledge) than in finding things out. I love that other people are finding things out but I just want to know what they've got.
So a career in dusty academia is not for me, which makes this not much of an epiphany because I never thought it was. However, hanging out with Greg Wilson's clever friends made me think that I would like to work close to science, applying or disseminating the latest studies and discoveries. Blake's suggestion was science outreach, and I also think science writing could be cool. The other idea that popped into my head was urban planning. I feel like there must be some way to take scientific knowledge and apply it to public policy, maybe try and get us out of this mess we're in.
So many ideas.