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Lab culture

Y Lab culture and value is heavily shaped by the teaching of Steve Jobs, article RANDOM WALK TO GRAPHENE by Andre Geim and book (Apprentice to Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty) by Robert Kanigel, among others. 

From Steve Jobs: "When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is, and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. And that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use." ...

"Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again."

From Apprentice to Genius: the making of a scientific dynasty: "science remains one of the few fields in which the traditional master-apprentice relationship still exists. Such relationships are often intense, with both members caught up in the fever of common work, the long hours, the triumph of a successful experiment or the frustration of one that fizzles. Through it, the student is trained in the ways of the mentor and comes away with an approach, a style, a test in the mouth or a feel in the gut for what makes good science. In this relationship, favors are granted, careers advanced, the sway of particular scientific disciplines extended."

Commonly used quotes from the lab:

Children are
dying, there is no time to waste.

Reputation is the only asset you carry.

Prioritize and focus.

Under promise, over deliver.

In God we trust, all others show data.

Specific aims are called "specific aims" because they have to be very specific.

Designing imaginative figures is the best way to plan for your research.

Mice are not tiny humans with tails.

Our lab is like a garden, and you have to decide what to grow and how to grow them.

Writing and editing are two completely different tasks. Don't combine them together. 

You certainly need to have a hypothesis to guide your study, but don't fall in love with your hypothesis. The hypothesis is for testing, not loving. Follow the data and see where it leads you. 

Your reputation is the most important asset you carry to advance your professional career. 

We keep going and get things done no matter what. 

Avoid running in circles: both positive and negative data are good data, which points to a direction forward. Unclear/inconclusive data is bad data. 


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