Publications and Vanity Metrics: an update

I talked a few posts ago about how scientific publications might be vanity metrics in disguise– good for showing an illusion of progress, but the enemy of true breakthroughs. Here’s a quick update to that thought: Peter Higgs, the British physicist whose work was the foundation behind the recent discovery of the subatomic particle bearing … More Publications and Vanity Metrics: an update

D Labs and P Labs

In many life science university departments, you’ll see that labs can be very often divided into two distinct, mutually exclusive categories. The first description I heard of this divide was from Laura, my Master’s degree supervisor, who in turn (I think) had inherited the concept from her own graduate supervisor in Minnesota (had I done … More D Labs and P Labs

How to hack life science research: part 1

In my last post I talked about a major problem I see in scientific research right now: the set of pressures and incentives on scientific researchers that promotes publication and grant funding at the expense of real progress that can meaningfully change health care. In a nod to Clayton Christensen’s sustaining vs. disruptive technology paradigm … More How to hack life science research: part 1

A problem with science: Disruptive vs. Sustaining Research

Over the past three years, as I’ve spent time in a wonderful lab full of exciting and supportive people doing research I greatly enjoyed, I’ve had to think a great deal about why exactly I feel so compelled to make an early exit from academic science. The main reason has to do with researchers’ incentives, … More A problem with science: Disruptive vs. Sustaining Research