Category Archives: Social interactions

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

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

Why I didn’t answer your email

Do you know that personality characterization called OCEAN, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism? It is supposedly much more supported by research than the simple extraversion-introversion espoused by that Quiet book, and is not as random as the Myers Briggs … Continue reading

Posted in Managing an academic career, Organization of a scientist, Social interactions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why you shouldn’t hire your colleague’s child, or be asked to do so

The whole reason we do experiments blind, have rules against nepotism, and worry about inadvertent bias is that we are humans and these things go with the species, no matter how fair we try to be. Even though there has … Continue reading

Posted in Department politics, Ethics, Social interactions, Tenure | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Is co-authorship a cynical strategy?

What if you found a partner you trusted and simply put your name on all of each other’s publications, asked a friend at the Evolution meeting in Snowbird. You would come close to doubling your reputation without doing any extra … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Managing an academic career, Social interactions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Check list for a professor’s retirement symposium

You will do few things more important in your academic career than organize a symposium for your retiring professor, or at least that is how I think of it. The point of this entry is to make it easier for … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Presentations and seminars, Social interactions | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to throw a retirement party for 65 people at home for well under $500

   Why do so many people cater their parties? They end up with soggy food that should be hot but is tepid and is certainly overcooked and overpriced. It just isn’t that hard to have a great party at home … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Social interactions | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments