The pyramid scheme

September 17, 2007

A recent comment on the post that generated some heat bemoans the pyramid scheme that is modern bioscience. The more general critique boils down to the fact that the PI or lab head is generally given the lion’s share, if not all, of the credit for scientific papers, findings and the like. The assignment of credit takes a number of forms including the habit most of us have of referring to findings and /or bodies of work as the product of “Dr. Greybeard’s laboratory” or “Prof. Bluehair and her colleagues”. Yes, even the grad students and postdocs who are resentful of the lack of crediting of their efforts are guilty of using this shorthand with respect to other research groups! This is also despite the fact that many (most?) PIs end their scientific presentations with a recitation of all of the people who did the actual work including technicians, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees suggesting that they understand quite well who is really responsible. Remember your Marx/Engels Reader from the general distribution class you took in college? Read the rest of this entry »

CSR changes SRA to SRO.

September 17, 2007

Is that enough acronyms to be assured the government is involved???

Anyway, the Center for Scientific Review which handles the initial review of most grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health has changed the title of their Scientific Review Administrators to Scientific Review Officer.

Why? Read the rest of this entry »

Go read Total Drek on Rules for First Year Grad Students. (hattip: Dynamics of Cats) Some of the highlights with particular relevance to my favorite themes…

Stop thinking about what you do as “school” and start thinking of it as “work” and particularly as “your career.” 

This is about the second thing I say to graduate students.

Don’t get so wrapped up in the short game that you forget to pick your head up

Careerism people, careerism. That next paper is not everything.

faculty members are people too. 

your faculty’s needs do not always match up with your own

Recent discussions ring any bells????

You’re all smart, you were all at the top of your classes, and you’re all small fish in a big pond. Get over the shock of this as quickly as you can.

Applicable at every stage. Those morons you postdoc with? They aren’t your competition. The version of you at the other lab, that’s your competition.

Don’t spend too much time reading the blog of some asshole online. His opinions aren’t necessarily correct in your case.

’nuff said.