So my mental fortitude is currently being tested as I have entered the ‘valley of death’ (see previous post) of my crowd funding campaign. I also have had major and inconvenient goal post shifting for my undergrad course at work (which I am completely powerless to stop) in the past couple of weeks. This, coupled with jet lag and a nascent head cold has taken my focus from spruiking my campaign. Which has in turn led to a spiral of self loathing about being an academic joke and a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’.
Ahhh…the fetid stench of imposter syndrome is strong at times when I am at a low ebb like this. But as usual, I gird my loins with a metaphorical nosegay of ‘posies’ to ward off such malodorous miasmas and push on. But not before making a plaintive inquiry to the Twitterverse as to why Hipsters seem so much less loveable that the Mighty Maggots
The only person to offer up comment was the producer/presenter of my For Science podcast James Purser, the owner of the angry beanie (@purserj). James pointed out that it could be part of the 2014 Budget hang over which has dented general consumer confidence in Australia at the moment. But then a more horrifying thought occurred to me…it may have more to do with the ‘announcement’ of a new Medical Research Fund ironically to be paid for by the end of free at the point of care GP visits by the introduction of a $7 Co payment on each appointment (including childhood vaccinations !?)
Leading scientists have condemned the move here and here and some have questioned the veracity of the proposal and whether something due for roll out in 6 years time will actually happen….I must say, I am cynical. I think they will take the money and run and I will likely never see a red cent into my research funding coffers. If approved by the Senate, It is also disaster for Aboriginal health
But then I had a PTSD flash back to a conversation I had with a mother of a child who had the disease that was the subject of the Mighty Maggots campaign. She did not see why she should put her hand in pocket to fund my research as ‘Don’t my taxes pay for that?’. After going home and crying for the rest of that afternoon (and swearing to retrain as an Accountant) , I realised that this is a common perception and some what justified.
But since the budget announcement, it is fair to say that most Australian tax payers could be justified for thinking the same now. And this movement of the goal posts of public sentiment in relation to funding medical research may have spoked my wheel for my current campaign. I will have to find a more global audience for my pleas for pledges.