Better fail at trying than giving up from the start.
Prof. Federico Calegari was a keynote speaker at ICMS 2019. From 2015 he is a Professor for Proliferation of Mammalian Neural Stem Cells and is the leader of his research team at CRTD – Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden. The field of their work is focused on Neurogenesis and development of neurons from Neural Stem Cells (NSC).
In the current interview he shares his perspective on the involvement of students in research work.
Why did you choose neurosciences?
The brain is the most complex organ in our body and, from what we know, the entire universe. It is the place where our cognitive abilities and consciousness originate making us humans unique (on this planet at least). Why studying anything else?
How do you see the development of the field in the next 5 years?
5 years is quite a short time, actually. But I do believe that in some future perhaps not too far away we will be able to connect our brains to machines and in doing so we will make our bodies obsolete. It’s happening, look at brain-machine-interfaces.
What is your dream discovery?
Discovering order in my children’s room… well, you can deduce it from the previous 2: understanding how brain cells compute information and make decisions giving us the “illusion” to make those decisions.
What is your advice for students who want to do research work?
Be honest to yourself (your brain), understand what makes you happy and if this really is science, then take all necessary risks to pursue one of the most difficult / worse paid / insecure / etc jobs on the market. Better fail trying than giving up from the start.
What is the role of students in shaping the scientific world?
Let’s picture it this way: We old guys sit all day at a desk. Students do the experiments. We present their data at conferences… did I answer?