A reading elective, denied

Here’s my pitch for a reading elective that was rejected because it does not fit the criteria of a research elective at Queen’s[1].

My academic background is in computer science with an interest in cognitive science, and several years of research in neuroimaging in psychiatry. One possible career plan sees me as a clinician-scientist in psychiatry, and yet my familiarity with the psychiatric literature is mostly quite niche and via osmosis from others in my past research groups. My plan with this elective time is as a reading elective, i.e. a way to cover a some of the foundational ideas in psychiatry and the philosophy of psychiatry more rigorously, with the hope that this could serve as fruitful ground from which to orient my future research.

Below is my reading list. My intention is to make my way through these texts, and supplement with relevant papers and readings from online resources.

  1. “What is this thing called Science”, by Alan Chalmers. This book is an overview of the philosophy of science generally. I’ve read this book before, and think it will be important to revisit because it provides a vocabulary and framework to think about the work of science in different stages of maturity.
  2. “History of Psychiatry”, Edward Shorter. This book should provide historical context as it traces the last 200 years of thought and approaches in western psychiatry.
  3. “Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry” by Tim Thornton, and “The Philosophy of Psychiatry: A Companion”, edited by Jennifer Radden. These two texts summarize psychiatry from a philosophical perspective. My hope is that they should provide some further grounding and vocabulary to understand research in psychiatry.
  4. “Psychiatry as cognitive neuroscience” by Mathew Broome and Lisa Bortolotti. I’m hopeful that this collection will be especially relevant to me and that it provides some perspective on my past research work in neuroimaging.
  5. “Is evidence-based psychiatry ethical?” by Mona Gupta. I’m hopeful this provides some thoughtful approaches to doing evidence-based psychiatry research.
  6. Models for Mental Disorder: Conceptual Models in Psychiatry, by Peter J. Tyrer, Derek Steinberg.
  7. “Man’s search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Not a technical text by any means, but was suggested as important nonetheless.

My plan is to write up a short summary of each of of these texts or papers contained in collections, as well as my reflections on each. I was going to use my personal blog for this to facilitate comments and discussion.

I may still read through some of these works on my own time. If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment.