There are only two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." --Albert Einstein
I have a PhD and work in a field called Epidemiology. Most people I meet have no idea what it is. They often guess that it has something to do with the skin, probably because they think of the epidermis layer of the skin! The root word is actually epidemic. The formal definition of epidemiology is the study of distribution and determinants of disease and health in populations. Specifically I am a social epidemiologist, meaning I study the social determinants of health. Here is a link to the first article I ever published if you are actually interested : http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/95/9/1595. I teach computer methods for data analysis.
My current obsession is Integral Theory, which seeks to explain everything and the interconnections between everything. It can be applied within a field but it's real strength is in bringing together and seeing the interrelationships between fields as different as psychology, biology, sociology, anthropology, religion/spirituality, politics...and the list goes on. Actually Integral is not just theory but also a form of life practice that works on mental, psychological, physical, and spiritual development...I live by the philosophy that if I am not growing I'm dying!
Did I, a scientist just mention religion and spirituality? Why yes I did! The path I most closely follow is Buddhism. I was raised Catholic, was an Athiest for a while, and then discovered Buddhism. I find that it provides the most clear path for achieving a sense of inner peace(at least for me!). It also fit well with my pre-existing ethics which included being a vegetarian(since I was 5 when I found out where meat came from)!
One of the roles I most cherish in life is that of being a father. I have 5 kids aged 4 to 18. My two oldest live on the other side of the country while I have custody of the other three every other night.