Back at it.

  • After weeks of quarantine, universities are ramping up research, allowing scientists to continue their fieldwork and benchwork. For many of us, returning to the lab brings mixed feelings. Personally, I want to continue my research. But on the other hand, I haven’t missed the sensation of messing up an experiment or the agony of waiting for results.

    Weeks of isolation have allowed me to think about what I want from my career. And many of my colleagues are pondering the same. As the scientists return to the bench this Summer and Fall, they are bringing a new attitude and perspective with them. 

    Flexibility in the workweek
    The pandemic proved that when research is stalled, the world continues to spin. A truth that might seem obvious to an outsider, it was none-the-less a revelation to me. A setback in experimentation is common, an expectation more than an exception. But still, the slow creeping pace of science instills guilt in many graduate students and post-docs. To compensate for failed experiments and confusing results, we scramble to fit as much work into a week as possible, often working on weekends when we arbitrarily feel like we are falling behind. The long nights, weekend work, and obligation to hold a 9-5 schedule add up to a long workweek, which might, in fact, be less productive than we perceive.....

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