MsPhD has some interesting responses in the comments to my post from a few days ago addressing the issue of strategic planning of an experimental research program. Here are a few particular excerpts that I will address below the fold:

Our mentors, beg to inform you, have ZERO novel ideas of their own.

I have NEVER met or heard of a ‘mentor’ who knows the ins and outs of technical things as well as the lab members do.
In this day and age, there are no PIs who can keep up.

[I]t belies the Apprenticeship part of the system. To get new things to work at the bench, you have to be willing to work at it. Yourself. Your mentor will not help you.

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