I am currently a research assistant in psychiatric neurosciences. I am currently applying to medical schools, after a year off to help decide whether I wanted to become a physician (clinician, scientist, and ethicist) or a pure scientist. I am especially interested clinically in pediatrics, child psychiatry, and pediatric neurology. In terms of ethics, my main interest is informed consent and treatment in children, people with developmental disabilities, and the mentally ill. My main research interests (besides those directly relating to my ethics interests) are in post-traumatic stress disorder (especially in patients with other major mental illnesses), and autism, so vaccine hysteria drives me especially crazy.
Lately, I have been leaning away from academic medicine towards working as a primary care physician for children of low-income families, specifically those with developmental disorders or retardation. I've spent hundreds of hours volunteering with autistic children, and think I would like to do something similar as my main goal. Of course, I haven't even started medical school yet, so who knows what will take my interest. Maybe even surgery or, more likely, something like infectious disease, since I really don't have the hand-eye-coordination to make a good surgeon.
Politically, I am a libertarian. While philosophically my libertarian leanings waiver between a pure minarchist propertarianism and a mixed bag favoring individual rights, in the real world, I tend to be more of a moderate libertarian, as I think transitions should be gradual. I tend to vote for democrats as the lesser of two evils.
I am hoping to do what I can to help make the world a better place, especially by helping people most in need of it. I know this is confusing to some people with certain ridiculous views of libertarians, but they'll learn that it is entirely consistent eventually.
I have a few publications in major journals, including two first author papers. I have another currently under review! I don't really want to share any identifying information, but if anyone is interested in working in the medical, psychological, or neuroscience fields of research, I would be happy to describe what it's actually like. I've been working in research for four years (on and off, depending on time free during school for the first two years), most of the time at one of the top research institutions in the world (with a PI I consider the top of his field). I have my own mix of personal experience from working on my independent projects and assisting PIs with their larger projects that I think has given me a good handle on what life is like as a scientist (in these fields): schedule, getting funding, dealing with IRBs, actually doing the work, etc.
I feel like this site often has a skewed view on scientific topics (some, but not all, of which is probably due to the SPOV embraced so enjoyably). While I enjoy debating, especially politics, I mainly come because you keep track of the craziness at CP, so I won't be fixing or arguing too much in the sciency domain. But for anyone interested in any of the fields I might know a bit about, I am always happy to help in any way I can, especially if you are trying to figure out what to pursue in college and beyond. A realistic understanding of a scientist's life is important!