March 28, 2022

Behind the scenes of a newbie

As an Account Executive at a booming scientific marketing agency, you very much work behind the scenes by frantically maintaining the smooth running of the office and juggling tasks whilst simultaneously attending an abundance of Teams calls. Whilst most of the team at kdm have scientific backgrounds in all areas ranging from Marine Biology and Zoology to Haematology and Immunology, us Account Execs have our own unique niche.

Can science explain the nature of consciousness?

My name is Emily and I joined kdm just over a month ago. I graduated from university last summer in the hope to find a job within publishing (so I guess a marketing agency isn’t too far off I suppose). Ironically, my degree is in Philosophy which very much opposes science even to the extent that my dissertation was titled ‘Can Science explain the Nature of Consciousness?’. For those pondering this question, I will sum up nearly 15,000 words into a sentence and say: No, science cannot in fact explain the nature of consciousness on the grounds that consciousness itself is largely incomprehensible. Anticlimactic I know. Many people look confused when they learn that I studied philosophy for 3 years – I find that many people don’t actually know what the subject is! But after countless confused expressions, I have learned that this is rather normal. So, here is a whistle-stop tour through a few aspects I studied in Philosophy.

“I think, therefore I am”

My absolute favourite module throughout my 3 years has to be Philosophy of Mind (hence the dissertation title). Within this, we studied topics such as metaphysics where we looked at the fundamental relationship between the mind and the body. Common-sense suggests that the mind and the body work together simultaneously; however, philosophers such as Descartes (a fascinating philosopher who I would highly recommend reading) suggests that they exist in their own entity and the mind is in fact what he calls ‘non-physical’. No doubt, many would read this and argue it is complete nonsense – how can our mind which seemingly exists within us be a whole separate entity to our body? However, once you delve into the deeper questions in philosophy such as:

  • What actually is our mind?
  • Where does our mind exist?
  • How does our mind account for consciousness?

That’s when you really start to question everything you originally thought was self-evident. I could honestly go on for hours writing about, for example, how we can’t ever be sure of our own existence, but I couldn’t do that to you all.

Philosophy vs Science

Nevertheless, among the plethora of scientists here at kdm, you will find me, a hopeless philosopher, who accidentally ended up at a scientific marketing agency. Despite my degree only covering science in a broader and debatably negative sense, science has always fascinated me. Especially immunology; it amazes me how intelligent our body is and how it seems to just know what to do in moments of attack by foreign bodies – with the process of phagocytosis being my personal favourite. If someone had said to me 6 months ago “What job do you see yourself getting?” I would have never suggested a scientific marketing agency. However, I’m so glad I can say that I do because I am able to work with science without actually obtaining a degree in it – the best of both worlds really!

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