Getting Started

Welcome to my very first blog post! Truth be told, I have always been one of those people who is certain they haven’t got anything particularly interesting to say, so this is going to be a very unique experience for us all. The last few weeks of learning about website creation and (the occasional…) foray into CSS scripting have actually been very enjoyable. However, after figuring out how to get pages to appropriately link together, how to add buttons that take you to my email address and uploading videos to Youtube for hosting, I then realised I had to actually add some content to this website. This is the point where I became aware that I’ve no idea what is interesting, and what is not interesting. And this, ultimately, brings us to this introductory blog post! Cyclical logic is still logic after all..

However, once I stopped self-deprecating and started thinking, I worked out an ambition for what I would like this blog to be: The life of a pain researcher can be a lonely one (not many people want to associate with a man who burns people for a living after all). I sometimes expect, even within my own University, that several people don’t even know that I, or my research, exists. Less flippantly, and much more importantly, pain research as a whole can sometimes be a mass of long, Latin words that never leave the University campus itself. Locked away, behind journal paywalls or in long, dusty and dull textbooks that no-one but embattled undergraduates have access to. Ultimately, I believe that this is wrong. The results of our research are not for us. They’re not for lecturers, my bosses, or my vice-chancellor. They’re for the rest of the entire rest of the world. In my instance, pain research has direct relevance and importance for literal millions of people out there battling with chronic pain and struggling to make sense of their condition. They’re also for my fellow researchers so that they can learn from my occasional successes, or more likely, make sure they don’t repeat the same mistakes that I made. So, although I am the sort of person who hasn’t got anything particularly interesting to say, I am also the sort of person who wants to telegraph my work and interests to the entire world. And damn it; if Piers Morgan is allowed to be on National TV, then surely I’m allowed a blog??

So, what I am going to aim to do, is write a few entries every now and then that may tick these boxes. I will, in due course, write some small summaries of my publications (in plain normal English!) just describing what the results mean, what they don’t mean, what I find interesting and why it was deserving of publication. Every now and then, I’ll also do the same for other people’s papers, with a good chance that I’ll focus on the papers that I enjoyed or found interesting (every now and then I may pick a stinker instead, if I’m in a bad mood or if I have a dire need for procrastinating, for example).

Science is for the masses and people with expertise in a specific area have a duty to spread their word far and wide. I’ve spent years getting to the point where I can just about understand a subset of the information that I come across. It’s my hope that I can do a job at trying to help folk, who haven’t the luxury of years of practice, understand what it all means. Please feel free to get in touch with me, or if my website skills aren’t too far off, leave a comment underneath any post you fancy. I am hoping this is going to be fun!

Rich

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