He was the academic lecture hall equivalent of a heckler. Last month, during the Q&A session after my keynote at the Preparing Science Professionals symposium at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, someone asked about an embattled subject in academia: life outside the lab. I’m a big proponent of life outside the lab—or, as I […]
Almost two decades ago, when Christopher Schmitt was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he attended a lecture about the now-famous T-shirt-sniffing experiments, which suggested that scent plays a role in sexual attraction. The speaker, an endocrinologist, discussed the studies, in which women rated men’s attractiveness by the scent of T-shirts the men had worn days earlier. Women consistently preferred the scent of men who had specific differences in their major histocompatibility complex, a set of proteins that are critical to immunity and, in this case, mark potential mates as genetically alluring.
As a mentor, the one thing I struggle the most with is communicating a good method for writing a scientific paper. It’s not that I don’t have one. It’s just that it’s completely contrary to the way we teach high school and college students to write. Many students write linearly – beginning at the beginning and ending at the end. Problem is, if you write a scientific paper that way, by the time you get to the end your story may have changed along the way. That’s very hard for a reader to follow.
For the overwhelming majority of Ph.D. holders who do not become tenured professors, spending time as a postdoc comes at a hefty price. Compared with peers who started working outside academia immediately after earning their degrees, ex-postdocs make lower wages well into their careers, according to a study published today in Nature Biotechnology. On average, they give up about one-fifth of their earning potential in the first 15 years after finishing their doctorates—which, for those who end up in industry, amounts to $239,970.
Empathy is key to communicating science. Coach Alda is here to help you hit your reps.