Dr. A at RESEARCHERS recently discussed having taken an intensive two-week science course where the students and faculty are sequestered in some locale (frequently quite lovely) for at least several weeks of intensive didactic and practical instruction in a particular field/subfield:

In attempts to decode the complexity that is statistical genetics, I enrolled in a 2 week workshop that just ended. That is two weeks I will never get back. Two weeks out of my absurdly crowded schedule. The thing with these types of courses.. is that they cannot possibly cater to everyone. Half of us have a good biology background, the other half were statisticians. Meaning I had to keep my mind from wondering during the derivation of every blood equation (see doodles) and sift through the masses of information to dig out what I need and basically work on grasping that stuff every evening. Needless to say my brain is full. It hurts. I have chi squared distributions oozing out of my pores. Gross.
How useful are such workshops? How much professional development should one be doing? How do you weigh the trade off? I was out of the lab for 2 weeks during a very busy time. Was it worth it? I’m not sure yet.

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