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Monday, November 29, 2021

Science is Serendipitous: What would you research?

Science is Serendipitous

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday break? I know I did, which is why this column will be shorter than my previous ones. My main point throughout my writing has been to show you, the reader, how science can make a positive impact in society. Scientists spend their lives researching things ranging from stem cell cancer research to making a Mountain Dew drink that taste like Doritos (it’s actually real and called Dewritos). No matter how small or big, or how expensive or costless — someone always wants to conduct research. My question to the readers is this: What would you research?

We are part of what some might call the “ivory tower” schools. The university is in fact a public research institution, whose purpose is to produce the next generation of thinkers who solve our state’s, nation’s and ultimately the world’s questions. As students, we may not have the privilege of being in our own research lab 24 hours a day, but we are encouraged to answer the burning questions in our mind about pretty much anything. This had me thinking: Why not gather your questions through this column and pursue an impromptu research opportunity?

Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about things at the UC Davis? Do student sleep patterns correlate with their grades? Would we have a happier student body if Taco Bell closed at 10 p.m. at the Silo? Do students actually know who Gunrock is? These are some questions I had in my mind (and not the only ones, mind you…). I would like to know what kind of questions you have in your mind, and, if possible, pursue a research project to attempt to solve that question. I don’t have any funding at all, let alone a lab to work in, so in the immortal words of Bon Qui Qui: “Don’t get crazy.”

Why would I want to do something like this? I believe that research, in any form, is an expression of the scientific method. We can learn something about ourselves and even solve a problem, no matter how small. Should you wish to participate and help out with a potential research opportunity, send me an email (which you can find in my contact line). If you have a question you’d like to see researched (something UC Davis-related, or local), send me an email as well!

If you’re interested in this venture, email me your ideas (uwsufi@ucdavis.edu) or tweet them (@umayrsufi).

Graphic by Jennifer Wu

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