The Lab Notes

The main theme of our research is to understand how gene regulation and genome organization tie in with each other. The Lab Notes are the latest headlines from the lab, featuring a collection of random thoughts and useful code snippets.

Good scientific discussions

The culture of meetings varies a lot between research teams. Most labs have a team meeting and a journal club, with a wide variation in frequency, duration and topics between labs. As the principal investigator, you want good scientific discussion in the team, but this comes at a cost that we often underestimate (I found Jason Fried's TED talk why work does not happen at work very instructive about this).

Our lab itself is an ongoing experiment and through trial and error we have learned a few things about scientific discussions that are worth sharing. Our first attempt to promote communication were 5 minute micro-meetings between two people. During this time, they were supposed to explain they will do during the day, and why. The meetings were twice a week, with a rotation schedule. Even if everybody liked the idea, it turned out to be unsustainable because synchronization between the two people did not happen naturally. At the time one got a 5 minute break, the other would be in the middle of a technical experiment and so on. After skipping a few meetings, the momentum was lost and they quickly died out.

Our second attempt...