One of the things I love most about being a scientist is constantly learning. Normally that means regularly searching for new papers published in my field of research, either by entering the term/gene/topic in PubMed or by scanning the tables of contents of a handful of journals I follow. However, every once in a while an experiment spits out an unexpected result that changes the course of the whole project, linking my research to something I know nothing about.
Scientific work progresses through the communication of ideas and almost every scientist I have ever met tends to talk ad nauseum about their research or science in general. Yet as much as scientists like to talk about their work and to publish their work, very few comment on articles. Indeed, every COMPASS Blog post has been read well over 100 times, yet there have been 0 comments. I published one research article that has been read over 22,000 times but has received only eight comments, two of which were our own (1).
I wonder why scientists do not comment on articles? So, rather boldly I ask you to comment below on why you may not typically comment on science articles.
1. Nicholson JM and Ioannidis JP (2012) Research grants: Conform and be funded. Nature 492, 34-36
I have a poster session coming up, and I wanted to show a homology model built by my collaborator Justin Kollman. In the past, I've found that "feelies" (like flip books) are a great way to engage visitors. Given that my department just got a MakerBot Replicator 2X, why not 3D print the .pdb? In going through this process, I enjoyed an unexpected benefit: handling a physical model led me to a far deeper understanding of the structure than I've been able to get by spinning it in virtual space.
The COMPASS career development subcommittee is a new team dedicated to expanding career development and training through ASCB. We have been assembling several initiatives, ranging from events for the Annual Meeting to year-round resources. We are excited about what we have in store and we are looking forward to making a splash in New Orleans this December!
Our first project is a series of Career Perspectives, in which we bring together the collective wisdom of today's biomedical workforce to provide first-hand insight into the vast array of career options open to cell biology trainees. We reached out to recently-hired friends and colleagues in a variety of positions, including academic faculty and staff, industry scientists, science communication experts and business administrators. We asked them to share their personal career pathways and to give advice on how to successfully follow in their footsteps. We will be publishing more than thirty career perspectives on the ASCB website in the near future, so stay tuned for some interesting and enlightening stories!