Science Writing

xiaolidu

Xiaoli
Du

Escape From Lab and Think About Your Future

The 11th annual fellows and young investigators colloquium of National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been held in Williamsburg, VA from February 23-25th. The purpose of this retreat is to foster networking among young investigators, to facilitate career-development opportunities and to moderate the com...


CCrumble

Christine
Crumbley

The dreaded “Conclusions” chapter

I’ve sent rough drafts of my research chapters to my boss, but I’m having an unbelievable bout of writers’ block for the conclusions chapter. I have a section at the end of every research chapter with conclusions, some discussion and implications, and future directions. These are standard item...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

What was it that you said?

…or wanted to say? …or wrote? How many times have you seen the phrase “... must have excellent written and oral communication skills” listed among the qualifications needed to get a job? 


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

Just where do you think you’re going?

We’ve all heard that question before. Even if one just answers “out,” not wanting to get into the details, it’s good to have a destination in mind. Some of you will have guessed that this is really a metaphor for life after grad school. Want another one? I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker mag...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

Deadlines? We have plenty of ‘em.

Facing deadlines and having to meet them starts early in life – mostly in school and mostly not that difficult to deal with because they are pretty ordinary. Besides, you and all your buddies are dealing with pretty much the same ones. No problems for years. Go to class, do the assignments, study ...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

You’re in (a) good company

So how do you know that? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to answer that question. I mean – if you just think about the people you are talking or sitting with at the moment, or those you are working with right now, it's not so hard to decide if you are in “good company.” After all, you ...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

It seemed like a good idea at the time

One of my grad school profs was fond of saying “it seemed like a good idea at the time” when asked why he’d done something. It’s all about finding an idea that really is a good idea. That should mean something to anyone whose grant was just funded, and it means even more when the grant is re...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

Not my problem.....

Don’t you see that flying saucer over there? No, I don't see it. Why not? – “because it’s not my problem.” Douglas Adams, from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy”Think back for a moment on how you found your first grad school mentor or thesis advisor. How did you get to work in that lab...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

Flying By The Seat of Your Pants

What’s that? It means deciding on a course of action as you go along, using your own initiative and perceptions rather than a pre-determined plan. From what I’ve been told, the description “fly by the seat of your pants” fell into popular use after Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan flew from ...


ceweinber

Clement
Weinberger

Publish or Perish?

You know what it means. In academia, achieving tenure, promotions, and obtaining research funding puts a lot of pressure on faculty to publish frequently. Numerous publications are seen as a demonstration that one has made a significant impact on the field.