Jeremy Côté

Bits, ink, particles, and words.

Consuming and Absorbing

How much do you read in a day? How much do you remember?

As a scientist, one of my main jobs is reading papers. This is to learn about new work in my field, understanding the methods of others, and getting ideas for my own work. I also love reading fiction, which I do every day.

However, not all reading is equal.

A useful way I’ve found to think about reading is as a spectrum between consuming and absorbing.

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More is more.

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Daily Anchor

If you’re like me, you have a lot of projects going on. I currently have multiple research projects for my PhD, my webcomic Handwaving, my monthly essays here, and some other personal projects in the works.

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One of the truly sad parts about academia and science is that as you go deeper and deeper into a subject, the circle of people who speak your default language shrinks. Academic siloes are real, and they prevent many scientists from taking a broader perspective of their work and communicating to those without a research background.

I’ve always wanted to push back against this. As you probably know from this site, I prefer plain language. I’ll use technical details when necessary, but we can go a long way to convey scientific ideas without them. Much like you can enjoy the emotional pull of a piece of music without knowing the intricacies in creating the piece, you can enjoy science without being an expert.

That’s why I applied to ComSciCon.

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