Diseases of the Will

In the late 19th century, the great Spanish neuroanatomist Santiago Ramon y Cajal wrote a slim volume for scientists in training called “Advice for a Young Investigator.” One chapter of the book is devoted to what Ramon y Cajal calls “diseases of the will”: psychological afflictions that befall scientists and get in the way of a productive scientific life. We update Ramon y Cajal’s formula (symptoms, diagnosis, and prognosis) and come up with tongue-in-cheek 21st century disorders that afflict scientists and doctors alike.

Diseases of the Will

Social (Media) Mania

By Diego Reinero

A contagious disease afflicts contemporary scientists. At best, it plagues productivity. At worst, it harms the fabric of our community. A form of social mania was identified as early as the 1700’s when gentleman scientists left their lab coats collecting dust and occupied themselves instead with pub banter. A newly mutated strain – sparked by […]

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Diseases of the Will

The Wall-Hoppers

By Chris Vaiana

People who suffer this variety of scientific schizophrenia are fueled by the notion that modern-day research must breach the borders that traditionally separate each discipline. Those affected by this illness claim that the walls surrounding chemistry, biology, and physics must be torn down to allow for a new breed of nomadic researcher, who will traverse […]

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