Gareth Olstad on Consciousness
“Maybe when you don’t understand something, it is a little scary. Especially when there is so much mistrust in society.”
Have you ever been in an unfamiliar situation where you have to explain what you do for a living?
“Oh, I always sigh or say long story… Most people don’t understand what research is and it usually takes a while to explain.” Unless your job title explains your occupation – think firefighter or plumber – you can probably relate to Gareth Olstad, a Research Coordinator at Premier Clinical Research. Throw in buzzwords like healthcare and drug companies, and suddenly everyone has an opinion.
“The general public doesn’t understand clinical research, and a lot of people don’t trust drug companies. When you don’t study science or read about clinical trials…” Gareth paused for a moment before continuing in a more empathetic tone. “Maybe when you don’t understand something, it is a little scary. Especially when there is so much mistrust in society.”
It’s not just about profit. It’s about serving the community, doing good work, and choosing studies that we know are well-designed and have a lot of promise.
I found myself inspired by Gareth’s empathy toward people with misconceptions. When you know the value of your work, and people who don’t still feel the need to comment… Well, let’s just say he’s more understanding than I am (and everyone I follow on twitter). For this, Gareth credits Premier Clinical Research’s new Director – Jill Ciccarello.
“Jill has certain ideas about the way research should be conducted and the big picture of research. I think that she is working to make us more conscious of what we are doing here” shares Gareth. “It’s not just about profit. It’s about serving the community, doing good work, and choosing studies that we know are well-designed and have a lot of promise. We want to be aware of serving people.”
Before we parted, I asked Gareth what he liked about working at PCR. He replied, “It’s nice to work at a place where people are obviously important.”