Thinking not writing

I’ve been pondering many things lately but haven’t yet found any answers.

Miscellaneous things I have been pondering:

  • What is the ROI on scientific research? I was asked this by an executive director of a foundation we solicited for money a few months ago. I still do not have a great answer. There are generally not short term payoffs on research beyond creating some hope for the future. There are certainly no guarantees.
  • Where does scientific research fit in a University that focuses predominantly on Undergraduate education? How do research scientists help to promote and fulfill the mission of the University? (The real question here is how is what I am personally doing helping the University fulfill its goals? What value, outside of grant indirect cost recovery, do I provide?)
  • Does wishing make it so? This was the secret of the Universe in Number of the Beast by Robert Heinlein. It makes for great fiction, but we spent a period talking about the power of intention in my Visionary Leadership class. There were some amazing examples of what focused intention could achieve that defied a "logical explanation." This got me thinking about Steve Pavlina’s Million Dollar Experiment. I’m not currently participating, as the logical part of my brain says "no way." And yet, I know the opposite is true. If I believe "I can’t" or "I won’t" then that is most certainly will become true.
  • Languages. There is a major demographic shift coming to the USA & I’m pondering what language(s) I should learn. I don’t think that just English will be enough. The 4 years of French and 7 years of Latin I had just don’t have much value. Being in the South West, Spanish seems like a reasonable first choice. However, given that the Japanese and Chinese are buying billions of US dollars each day I’m also pondering one of those as well.
Posted in Education, Miscellaneous, Personal Development, Research & Science