Love and Fear in the Lab with Uri Alon

Why don’t we discuss the social side?

Scientific values: objective and rational — “what we do” (or tell ourselves).

don’t have language to discuss subjective emotional side.  — excitement.

Subjective component:

skills: patience, persistence, listening skills, mentoring skills — start simple give positive feedback.

emotions: insecure, excited, intuition, rejection, humiliation,

Referee reports: “something we do to ourselves” don’t talk about because it’s culturally taboo (to discuss how we want to change the system).

Cultural changes.

Currently tolerate systematic destruction of talent.

Positive cultural values in science: teaching, truth-telling, data sharing.

Power of language: need support to be creative.  Fear/stress restricts ability to explore risky solutions.

Self Determined Behavior (on motivation)

  • pleasant, feel flow, don’t need external reward to do it.  Requires 3 things:
  • Competence: have some control.  Not trivial nor impossibly challenging.
  • Autonomy: feel it comes from you not from someone else: destroyed by neglect or micromanaging. saying yes when you should have said no
  • Social relatedness: somebody you care about cares about your work.  Get praise from PI / feedback from colleagues – this is cool/interesting.
  • EXERCISE: Think about someone you know with low motivation, diagnosis what’s missing, and propose a treatment plan.
Teach a course on how to find a mentor.  If I was to do this alone, they wouldn’t give me tenure.   But are they going to fire all 17 of us?  How do you build this network? Requires personal discussion.
Stages of group dynamics: Norming Forming Storming Performing?
Nicole King: Having structure to these organizations helps substantially.  Need more than space to vent.  Need to make a commitment to make a change and have structure for making change.
Collect data on effectiveness of support group.
“Sunday at the Lab”
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