Category Archives: Life in a biology department

How many hours a week can you work on research?

What are my colleagues around the world doing on this Sunday, a brilliantly sunny February day too warm for a jacket in St. Louis? Are they out hiking, bird watching, or cooking a delicious meal? Are they playing with their … Continue reading

Posted in Daily routines, Follow a scientist, Life in a biology department, Managing an academic career | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are women allowed to joke?

Is it true that a good measure of how well you know a foreign language is that you get the humor? If so, I failed German a decade or so ago when the Lufthansa agent in Frankfort very dryly told … Continue reading

Posted in Life in a biology department, Managing an academic career, Politics, Social interactions | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Feeling scared and guilty because your teacher or boss has asked for a meeting without telling you its subject?

Why when someone above me asks for a meeting without telling me why do I feel scared and guilty? I try to think of what I might have done to offend, but nothing comes to mind. It is a little … Continue reading

Posted in Department politics, Group leadership, Life in a biology department | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Let need, not ego, matter for allocating research space

Remember your first bench? Was it a place to dump field gear? Was it 6 feet of black magic with shelves above for carefully labeled and dated orange-capped bottles? Did you line up your vortexer with your pipetteman rack? Did … Continue reading

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Other kinds of graduate school fun

One of the fun things about seminar trips is you get to meet some wonderful graduate students. I am not alone in viewing invitations by graduate students as the hardest to turn down. The trip I made in the fall … Continue reading

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Do you celebrate a paper submission with cognac?

There are celebrations for milestones of various kinds. In Japan I hear turning 60 is a big deal. Birthdays, graduations, even publishing can be celebrated. But why not celebrate something that is under your control? How about cheering when you … Continue reading

Posted in Graduate school, Life in a biology department, Publishing your work, Scientific community, Social interactions, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Guest post on the tenure talk by Liz Haswell

The Unique Nature of the Tenure Talk Here is Liz Haswell‘s take on talking for tenure. The Tenure Talk. If your department has these, you’ve known it’s on the horizon for years—but it can be terrifying once you actually start … Continue reading

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