leaves me cold”
I have always been someone who bristles at being told what to do. And it’s not just a matter of being rebellious (which is also true). My bad attitude when it comes to following directions is also a reflex that’s developed in response to being bad at learning. I have never been diagnosed with a learning disability of any kind (although I have also never been screened); however, learning is – objectively speaking – hard for me. If there’s something that takes most people 10 minutes to pick up, you can bet that it will take me a few hours. And if whatever it is involves a lot of counter-intuitive sounding jargon? You’re probably going to have to pull out sock puppets.
You get the idea.
Over the years, I learned to adapt to my position of being good at thinking, but bad at learning, by doing a lot of problem-solving on my own. I solve problems in a way that makes sense to me without worrying too much about how people usually do it. And although this path is super inefficient and littered with failures (I direct the jury to my K – 12 transcripts), it has also allowed me a lot of intellectual freedom. I’ve avoided the snares that many academics get caught in when it comes to doing research. Crippling self-doubt and procedural inertia are easy traps to avoid to when you aren’t really aware of how other people are doing things.
Although doing things this way has produced a lot of unnecessary reinvented wheels, it has also turned out to be one of my greatest strengths as a researcher. It has allowed me to consider research approaches that haven’t been previously chosen, and do so with almost reckless amounts of optimism. The result has been that I have published research in a diverse number of different research areas, borrowing theoretical tools and techniques from a variety of different disciplines. Through this process, I have learned that the best approach to science is one that is problem- rather than tools-based. I have also learned that anything is possible if you have a can-do attitude and put together the right team.
This is the spirit of Eos. Eos is about turning away from the existing rules and trying a new approach to research science.
Our mission is to empower researchers to think beyond the limited number of tools they have immediately available to address their research questions (i.e., the traditional, “What does my theory predict about phenomenon X? approach) and have them ask, instead, “What the is best approach to understand phenomenon X, using any tools available in any field of science?”. We like to address research questions from head to toe, asking about its evolutionary function, its development, its biology, its psychological process…all of it. The whole four-question Tinbergen enchilada. Ultimately, we hope to revolutionize science by removing boundaries that prevent creative, interdisciplinary approaches to research questions. And we’re ridiculous and optimistic enough to believe it can work.
Now, obviously, we can’t do everything. If you want to add nanoparticle measures to your research, we can’t help you. At least not yet. But we had to start somewhere. Even if you don’t use our services, we hope we spark your interest in thinking about research differently. How would you approach your research question if you had access to unlimited research talent and an unlimited number of tools? Who would be on your dream team? Which of the world’s most vexing problems would you choose to solve?
As someone who has never cared for rules or the status quo, I am super excited to have the opportunity to help other researchers break down some of the barriers to their own creativity. We hope you use our platform to ask research questions, build research teams, troubleshoot protocols, and start thinking about research differently. And we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you would like to see our lab be able to do for you.