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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coffee break: Why does this "neuroscience boot camp" make me nervous?

Here's why:

“Indeed, for any field in which it is important to understand, predict or influence human behavior, neuroscience will play an increasing role.”

“The only prerequisites are a grasp of basic statistics and at least a dim recollection of high school biology and physics.”
As it happens, someone whose "thing" definitely isn't science phoned me today about this very conference. Of course he had heard about it. Trust me, he hears about everything.

Potential participants are asked to provide a 200-word statement explaining their interest. And he wanted me to let him know if there were any spelling or grammar mistakes in his application, which I reproduce here (for your convenience, I have corrected numerous mistakes and made certain other discreet alterations):

Hi, as you know, I am a used car salesman.

I am stuck with a huge heap of gas guzzlers in an economy where everyone is watching their budget and more people than ever work at home and order goods via the Internet.

So their cars don’t wear out so fast.

My [profanity deleted] industry is in the toilet, and I don’t know if the [profanity deleted] government will fork over the money to keep it [profanity deleted] going!

I have issues with the people who say I am sleazy, and am currently suing eighteen of these liars.

Look, I WON my last case at the local automotive arbitration panel ...

It felt so good finally winning a case!

Is this 200 words? I guess I better come to the point, right?

I want to advance a really critical new field: neurobullshipping

Hey, if I make this work, I’ll cut you all in.

Why not? I will be as rich as stink.

Eddie “the lube job” Sloan

Well, Eddie, it's a bit shy of 200 words, but I really do think you have made your point, so it's best not to go on gilding the lily ...

See also:

Neurotheology: Bad neurology and bad theology?

Neuroscience: Let the machine read your mind ... we offer an installment plan!

Culture: Neuro this and neuro that and neuro go away!

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