In the post-information age, everyone is empowered with lots of information, as well as the hardware and software tools to use the information.
This means that there will be less dependence on bricks-and-mortar institutions to carry on research, development, and entrepreneurial ventures. People can do an awful lot from their homes, or from nearly any location on the planet.
My guess is that we will see a growing workforce of talented, free-lance technologists who make enormous contributions to biomedical research in the post-information age. These individuals will come from two groups:
1. The recent college grads, who are technology-enabled and who developed a group of collaborators through social networking sites while they were in college.
2. Retirees, who bring their technical expertise with them into their retirements and who are fully capable of leading technologically productive lives from their homes.
Just about everyone one else (i.e., age 30 to 60) is fully invested in the bricks-and-mortar paradigm. They're dependent on regular pay checks, and on the family health coverage provided by their employers. They are not sufficiently secure, financially or medically, to leave their jobs to begin a new life as free-lancers.
Tomorrow, I'll discuss the kinds of projects that can be done "from home" in the post-information age.
- Copyright (C) 2008 Jules J. Berman
key words: biomedical informatics, medical informatics
Science is not a collection of facts. Science is what facts teach us; what we can learn about our universe, and ourselves, by deductive thinking. From observations of the night sky, made without the aid of telescopes, we can deduce that the universe is expanding, that the universe is not infinitely old, and why black holes exist. Without resorting to experimentation or mathematical analysis, we can deduce that gravity is a curvature in space-time, that the particles that compose light have no mass, that there is a theoretical limit to the number of different elements in the universe, and that the earth is billions of years old. Likewise, simple observations on animals tell us much about the migration of continents, the evolutionary relationships among classes of animals, why the nuclei of cells contain our genetic material, why certain animals are long-lived, why the gestation period of humans is 9 months, and why some diseases are rare and other diseases are common. In “Armchair Science”, the reader is confronted with 129 scientific mysteries, in cosmology, particle physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. Beginning with simple observations, step-by-step analyses guide the reader toward solutions that are sometimes startling, and always entertaining. “Armchair Science” is written for general readers who are curious about science, and who want to sharpen their deductive skills.