Hello, readers- I’ve been busy trying to advertise a science idea I had on March 28th, and it is actually pretty difficult to do this. I have always had a pretty hard time being taken seriously as a scientist, and being bipolar doesn’t make this easier. I am not entirely sure why, although I rather suspect it’s because I do not think the same way everyone else does 100% of the time. I seem suspiciously creative, perhaps- maybe “too out there”. And my gender might make me seem less authoritative, even when I actually know more of what I am talking about than my audience.
In any case, I am trying a variety of avenues to bring attention to my idea- I find this rather grating because it requires me to promote myself at the same time, and I hate doing this. I started a podcast, and the first episode is here:
The science blog post where I describe the idea I had as well as the difficulties I face trying to get it to the right people is here. I also describe these somewhat in the episode. And I’ve also managed to create video content (a static image plus audio which I managed to record in my closet and cobble together, editing out clicks from my phone and the odd cat meow). My YouTube channel is SolvingThePandemic, and the first video is here.
What this all means in terms of my fiction writing is that it’s temporarily on hold. I do have ambitious plans, or at least they seem ambitious when I add them to the load of other things I am currently working on (some of which, like trying to spread this idea, seem a little more important than others).
This podcast has been teaching me valuable skills, so even if I fail completely at reaching an audience aside from a few friends and relatives, I feel very much like it’s not a wasted effort. And in a month or two when someone better-connected has this same idea, perhaps an internet sleuth will find my work and bring it up. This seems defeatist, and perhaps it is- I’m tired, I still haven’t 100% recovered my equilibrium from dealing with bipolar symptoms not so long ago, and I know I lack a platform. I also don’t know if just having a good idea is enough to get it taken seriously. So much of whether we listen to someone depends on whether we think that person can have something useful or important to say, and unfortunately I’ve struck out many times on that basis even though the ideas I was sharing were, eventually, proven by others to be valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re right, if no one is prepared to listen, no one will.
In my science blog I mention putting together a hypothesis and companion proposal paper relevant to the pandemic for public archives- I am still turning these over in my mind, only since the archives won’t take short speculative papers I have to submit them to a journal that will take something like a hypothesis. I can reformat my work to be shorter and have fewer references, but this kind of impairs readability, so I’m considering what options are offered by different venues, and what I can afford (scientists usually have to pay to publish their work, for which they are never financially compensated later, and if you think that is a giant ripoff, you are right).
I’m no longer in much of a rush to publish my thoughts formally in a written document- the one idea I really need to circulate rapidly is the one about leveraging clinical trials to try to find solutions to the pandemic in a more rapid fashion, and I laid out all my thinking both in my science blog and in my podcast episode. So I figure if I can reach someone with pull in the clinical research community, that’s all I need- I just need one fairly well-connected person to listen just long enough to understand my point and then my part in this is over.
So while I consider what publishing options I have for my hypothesis paper and associated thoughts relevant to the pandemic, such as how dysbiosis (imbalanced intestinal microflora) might contribute, I will put out as many little podcast episodes as I can (the first is under 12 minutes, and none will be very long). I figure at least I can help inspire and provide hope to the general listener that things will some day go back to normal, and I can hone my skills while I do so. Maybe in time I’ll offer fiction in this audio format, so attempting a podcast is definitely not a waste of time.
In the meantime, please listen to my podcast, and share the first episode if you can.