Tag Archives: creativity

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

Posted in New ideas, Presentations and seminars, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Great irresponsibility, or great organization?

Sometimes it is easier to just do whatever tasks stream at you through the incessant flow of email than to work on the conceptually difficult, important, long term research papers. At other times you want to scream and throw things … Continue reading

Posted in Daily routines, Managing an academic career, Organization of a scientist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Some tips for an effective faculty retreat

  We went to a duck hunting lodge for the first faculty retreat I ever attended. I don’t remember much about it, except that one faculty member had to have milk and cookies before bedtime. The rest of us drank … Continue reading

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Have confidence in yourself and innovate recklessly

By now you have turned in a January preproposal to the National Science Foundation if you are a biology professor in areas of ecology, evolution, or various kinds of physiology. You may feel good about your preproposal, or you may … Continue reading

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Start writing before you are ready

Perhaps nothing separates successful from struggling academics as much as a facility with writing. You don’t need me to tell you that you should be writing every day at a certain time, for a certain number of minutes. You may … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments