Tag Archives: creativity

Thinking of starting your paper with a quote? Be careful!

It is a wonderful feeling to start a piece with a quote that means something to you. You can connect to someone famous who has said something much more clearly than you might. From there you can move on to … Continue reading

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Five reasons to hire you for our open faculty position

Hiring is one of the most important things we do. A new hire is a colleague for years, possibly decades. The new professor will figure out things we don’t know, will even completely change the way we view a major … Continue reading

Posted in Interviewing, New assistant professor | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Why is your lab group so separate from your department?

Few things in research are more exciting than watching ideas build as one person augments the thinking of another. Each can arrive at a place unanticipated and impossible from lone thinking. I feel almost euphoric when this happens. It may … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, New ideas, Scientific community | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Can you do an ideas sandbox in 90 minutes?

I’m going to the BEACON: Evolution in Action meeting at Michigan State University next month. They asked me to run a sandbox in 90 minutes, giving me flexibility on the topic.  Below is my plan. Who knows what we can … Continue reading

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Recipe for studying symbiosis

  What do scientists who identify first as symbiontologists study? OK, maybe I invented that term, but something brings hundreds of people to meetings where the only thing they have in common is that they study symbiosis. What do sponges, … Continue reading

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How to transform research in your field – does Rockefeller University have the answer?

Imagine you have a decade or so to transform research in your field. What would you do? Would you stop doing whatever you are doing to do things differently? What is a transformation anyway? I am thinking about this because … Continue reading

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Science is problem solving: two crucial first steps

I have an extremely intelligent friend with a Ph.D. in something really fancy who raised his kids with a great deal of freedom. I’m sure he did this for a number of reasons, but one that he articulated early on … Continue reading

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Do mouse people talk outside their group? Do you?

Creativity research says to reach outside your group to come up with innovative ideas. I’ve written before on this topic, referencing Burt‘s work on structural holes and who is at risk for a new idea. Right now I’m at Janelia … Continue reading

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How to increase research creativity: work differently!

Isn’t it too bad there isn’t a simple formula for having the best ideas? Isn’t it too bad you can’t easily find the best thing to study, something easy, fun, high impact, and easily published in PNAS? It may seem … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Grant proposals, Workshops | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What E. O. Wilson got right, what confused him, and what he disrespected

The brilliant conservation and ant biologist E. O. Wilson wrote a bizarre piece for the Wall Street Journal recently. It is modified from an upcoming book of advice for young students. It has inspired an intense flurry of highly negative … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental design, New ideas, Research, The joy of teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments