Many university professors are great teachers. Many are not. I'm baffled that those who are great teachers are saddled with research. And those who are great researchers are saddled with teaching. More importantly, why do universities saddle students with these subpar teachers? Some argue that professors must be able to do both. Yet, professors at Canadian universities are generally promoted based primarily on their research abilities -- on how many publications they get, and how much research money they bring to the university. Teaching is only superficially acknowledged as important.
It all started back in September of 2011 when Dr. Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center gave a talk in Malta on his experiments with H5N1. A few out of context statements later, the world was facing a panic about a "doomsday pandemic" that didn't exist. Today the article that caused so much panic and dismay has been published and the world now has a chance to see what all the fuss was about.
Do you actively seek out different opinions than your own, or unwittingly reinforce your personal conventional wisdom by only consuming "agreeable" content? While we may think it is the former, too often we live in a bubble. Here are some reasons why we're not as open-minded or as free as we may think, and how the internet is really preventing us from experiencing new things.
When you meet these bright young students, the first impression is "wow, they're pretty normal teenagers." That impression doesn't last long. The minute they begin to describe their research, my mind reels as I try to keep up with each project's premise and findings. These are exception children, and they are our future.