Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Academic Scientists at Work" by Jeremy Boss and Susan Eckert

Republished with some modifications.

Academic Scientist's career sounds quite boring, and it will be boring if you believe this book. 

One reason I decided to read this book was the fact that one of the authors, Jeremy Boss, works in the field of immunology. He was also at one point, the chief editor of Journal of Immunology. so I thought he may have some interesting to say. I thought he may reached the stage in his career when he can challenge the status quo. Forget it.

So why is this book so boring? Because it has nothing beyond trivial views and facts that any junior scientist could randomly guess. I was not able to derive any tangible value from reading this book. When you are a scientist who worked in academia for the past 30 years, you should try to incorporate your personal observations of the actual events (name and place changed) that you yourself witnessed and that have impacted your views. Otherwise, dry and generalized discussions are not very attractive or useful to anyone.  

In my opinion, non-fiction books should contain information that are not immediately available for the larger audience. If I can find information discussed in the book just by randomly searching it online, then the book failed its purpose. 

The one thing I agree with the authors is the notion that when you are running your own lab and training postdocs, you are taking responsibility for their careers as well. This aspect of PI's job is mostly ignored in real life.    

posted by David Usharauli    

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