Writing in Biology is a course that I took under the impression that I would be writing scientific papers and analyzing other scientists structure of their papers or chapters of their books. Thankfully the class was much more than just an examination of scientific papers. An entire section was dedicated to proper etiquette within labs and at scientific conferences, we covered how to give an engaging presentation about your data, and most importantly, since we were all students working in labs, we were asked to interview our principal investigator (PI).
I am fortunate enough to work in Dr. Robert Bartlett’s Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Lab. Dr. Bartlett is a skilled surgeon that pioneered an entire field of medicine and to even have the privilege of working in his lab is something that I don’t think I fully can grasp. My interview with Dr. Bartlett focused on the politics of research and grant funding and eventually became the focus of my essay, but over the course of the interview I learned that Dr. Bartlett is an author of several scientific handbooks and two novels. In the middle of our interview, several guests arrived that wanted to speak with Dr. Bartlett, after their brief conversation one of the guests looked at me and said, “I hope you realize who [Dr. Bartlett] is and what he represents.” He is an inspiration to me because of what he has accomplished in the medical world and the hope that he inspires for me to continue writing.
My essay, “The Currency of Academic Accomplishment” gives an overview of how the National Institute of Health reviews grants and how they allocate their money. There are many facets to government funding for research and Dr. Bartlett provides some insight as to the politics that surround the funding.