Knowledge is one of those untouchable things like love or hate. Yet, it is vital to our growth as individuals. Some of us struggle through school learning only what we need to pass to the next level, learning what we need for a job, learning how to work the remote, learning perhaps the bare essentials to keep us alive. Some of us learn every day and make a point of doing that, looking things up in the dictionary or on the internet, asking questions, taking continuing education courses.
Since I was diagnosed with MS, I have been able to take everything I have learned and continue to learn and apply it to the issues of MS: my knowledge of epidemiology, chemistry, biology, socio-economics, mathematics even, have all been enhanced since my diagnosis. I had always been curious and a life long learner, but for the past 11 years even more so.
As many of you know from reading this blog, or from knowing me personally, I have a fondness for bugs. I love the onset of spring because it means the bugs will come out to do buggy things. The sounds of cicadas on the hottest days of the year are sweeter than the sounds of Mozart, the colours of beetles and butterflies more intense and pleasing than any Van Gogh, and the design and mechanics of how these creatures are and live, more ingenious than anything da Vinci could invent. And I continue to be amazed and amused by what I see and learn.
Some people question why other people study seemingly innocuous subjects. The people who ask those questions haven't learned the basic idea behind science: to learn more about our world and thus, understand it. They also haven't learned how to apply what they have learned to the wider world around us.
About 2 months ago, I attended a lecture about the source of funding for neuro science research. To begin the lecture, the speaker talked of why we do research in the first place. On the most basic level, it's because we want to know things, we are a curious species of animal. But the general public doesn't want to fund research just because one guy or gal is curious about something. The general public wants to fund research for a specific outcome, perhaps to eliminate a disease.