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How to succeed in science David Eisner. not a self-help book.

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Presentation on theme: "How to succeed in science David Eisner. not a self-help book."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to succeed in science David Eisner

2 not a self-help book

3 Definition of “succeed” To achieve the desired aim Proverb: “Nothing succeeds like success”

4 success is  important research  published and read in papers  changes the way we think

5 What success is not metrics  Impact Factors  H-factor  etc

6 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (NMR imaging) ) And as an ultimate plea, the personal wish of the author remains to send all bibliometrics and its diligent servants to the darkest omnivoric black hole that is known in the entire universe, in order to liberate academia forever from this pestilence. – And there is indeed an alternative: Very simply, start reading papers instead of merely rating them by counting citations!

7 What success is not metrics  Impact Factors  H-factor  etc helps to have a few papers in classy journals…….

8 Peter Medawar 1915-1987 Nobel Prize in Physiology: graft rejection and immune tolerance

9 An anxiety that may trouble some novices, …… whether they have brains enough to do well in science. It is an anxiety they could well spare themselves, for one does not need to be terrifically brainy to be a good scientist. Common sense one cannot do without, and one would be the better for owning some of those old-fashioned virtues that seem unaccountably to have fallen into disrepute. I mean application, diligence, a sense of purpose, the power to concentrate, to persevere and not be cast down by adversity… Am I Brainy Enough to Be a Scientist?

10 persevere and not be cast down by adversity Experiments don’t work papers rejected grants or fellowships rejected

11 important for science but don’t take to extremes value your own work self-doubt Be self-critical

12 “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” self-doubt (Shakespeare vs the Joker) It's kind of a rule of thumb for me to self-doubt going into any kind of project. I always think that I shouldn't be doing it and I don't know how to do it and I'm going to fail and that I fooled them. I always try to find a way out.

13 What should you work on? Medawar – “the art of the soluble” project needs to matter but: must also be doable (must also be fundable)

14 Why are you doing science? to help cure disease? To advance knowledge?

15 What would have happened if you had not done your research? Someone else would have done it: tomorrow next month next year

16 Why are you doing science? You need to enjoy it ( and advance knowledge etc as a happy byproduct) “Happy is he who gets to know the reason for things” Virgil (70-19 BC)

17 Personal life? Become a hermit: plenty of time for science

18 My escape from hermitry

19 What do you want? Work-life balance

20 Move towards independence Develop your own projects (while still taking advantage of support from your previous supervisors)

21 Get credit for your work Are you first author? Are you senior author? Do you get to give seminars? Talks at meetings?

22 building your own lab (1) stimulating & career building  responsibilities (students, postdocs) satisfying (students, postdocs)

23 building your own lab (2) How fast? Will you continue “hands on”?

24 get a mentor someone you trust not your boss

25 and finally…..….enjoy

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