• Question: do you think medical scientists have a more less or equally important job to you?

    Asked by lili to Mike on 22 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      Wow. That’s a pretty good question, and it’s one that I think about a lot. In scientific research, the money for our work (for our salaries, our travel money, our equipment) all comes from a limited pot of money that is shared by lots of different people. Some are curing cancer, while others are trying to do things like make silly videogames!

      There are two ways to answer this question, I hope you forgive me by taking the easy way out to answer it in both ways!

      The first answer is that medical research is very serious, very important to people, and there are many medical problems that are badly affecting the world that we still haven’t solved. In this answer – I think I am definitely less important.

      But the second answer is that you can never tell what research will be important tomorrow. The work I do is about making videogames, but scientific research is shared and used by people all over the world in very different ways.

      For instance, I have talked to people who work with stroke patients. People who have had strokes need to do boring physical exercises very often if they want to get better. The bioengineers I talked to wondered if ANGELINA could be applied to design unique games for each patient that train them in a fun way (using things like Kinect or the Wii) and help them get better. Even the most silly research can have unusual applications!