Acquiring knowledge on the nature of scienceI would love to have some feedbacks to improve the vocabulary as well as the grammar. Thanks for reading it and any advice would be appreciated!
As soon as I saw the summer school announcement, I knew it was a crucial opportunity for my research career that I had to apply for.
Science is the theme that I have been up to my neck. As a student specialized in Math at Quoc Hoc Hue High school for the Gifted, I was not only trained to solve math problems but also educated to think systematically. Studying business as my undergraduate level, I have continued to apply that type of approach to learn more about the business climate, how it creates values for the community, and how to manage various aspects of a business: customer service management, supply chain management, total quality management, etc.
My passion, however, turned into economics - the science of scarcity - after taking the course "Microeconomics". I was eager to learn more about the complex system behind our economy, how ideas helped shape that, and how to reach an economy in which everyone can enjoy the prosperity. For the course "Research Methodology", my group conducted a research to analyze Vietnam's export using the gravity model. I was responsible for the parts of Literature Review, Model Development and Results & Implications. During this work, I recognized a vital point that a research should be built as a successor of a series of work, with a progress including different ideas, models, and contexts.
Last summer, I worked as an intern at Broaden Economics (BE) - a research program of Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR). There, I got a chance to go deeper into the science of economics. Economics is full of models with different underlying thoughts and assumptions and contradictory conclusions. Yet, very few of the models have ever been rejected so decisively that the profession discarded them. These models can be used during different periods in history as long as they stay valid and relevant to explain the current state of the world. Thus, the profession's favored models tend to follow fad and fashion.
A more fundamental point is that the dynamics of social reality makes economic models difficult to test, and we cannot expect any of them to be universally valid. As Dani Rodrick, a professor in political economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, once said: "In economics, context is all". What is reasonable in one setting need not be reasonable in another. During my internship, I conducted a paperwork about the "developmental state" model in Korea. Despite strong voices from current dominating economic thoughts that the economy should be kept out of the government intervention, Korea had experienced the so-called "Miracle on the Han River" for about three decades with an economy under strict control from the government. That my research followed a "heterodox" economic idea but stayed valid emphasized the nature of science including freedom, critical thinking, and academic integrity. For me, the science of economics does not simply mean that newer models render the older ones wrong or irrelevant but they expand the range of the profession's insights. In general, I totally agree with Dani's argument that economics as a science achieves its progress "horizontally" (with multiplying models) rather than "vertically" (with newer ones replacing older ones).
[...] is an opportunity to acquire deep and comprehensive knowledge on the nature of science, which will support my understanding of conducting research and developing models in economics. I would love to learn more about the philosophy of science. This experience provides a channel to reach opportunities and scholarships for graduate study abroad, with also a realistic perspective of the academic and research career. On the other hand, I am eager to meet and co-work with researchers from various disciplines, where we can get the chance to share our experiences and backgrounds in a scientific environment.
The fervor with the nature of science, the proactive attitude for learning more, and the motivation to co-work in a multidisciplinary team make me fit for a participant of Vietnam Summer School of Science. The experience would be a milestone during my journey towards a research career.