Life as an Extreme Sport

high on my list of annoyances right now

We’re hiring. I think I’ve mentioned this. We’ve done four of the six interviews, and after every interview, we tend to stand around and chitchat about the applicant. And I swear, if one more non-applied ethics/bioethics person, be they faculty or student, tries to tell me what bio or applied ethics studies, publishes about, or in general thinks, I might scream. Or actually get violent.

Tonight’s conversation went something like this:

Me: So, what’d you think?
Person: Well, I thought it was interesting how he brought in biology, since ethics doesn’t handle that.
Me: …wha?
Person: Yeah, no one doing ethics – you know, applied or bio or whatever, really considers biology, especially evolutionary biology in their writing.
Me: …er…
Person: But like I said the other day, ethics is just all dialogue anyhow.
Faculty: Too many people kvetching. There’s no science or logical thought or process in ethics, especially bioethics.
Me: Are you trying to taunt me?
Faculty: It’s a known fact!
Person: Kvetching is a great word to describe the entire field! No one does serious research.
Me: …I’m leaving now. I need a drink.

Moral of the story: I need to spend some time at AMBI, around people who aren’t going to try to tell me what my field studies, or dismiss the entire thing as pointless and not important.

I mean, I know it sounds silly (and yes, GM, I know – just ignore them), but to listen to a group of graduate students and faculty share this opinion about bioethics just being a bunch of people kvetching and not doing real research just made me want to curl up somewhere and cry. It’s hard not to take this personally, and assume that what they think about the field they also think about me. They’re painting bioethics in a very broad and extremely unflattering brush, and it’s kind of hard to see how they could not think similar about me.

I came here for this?

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