How I Do Work-Life Integration

How I Do Work-Life Integration

collaborations, processes, public perceptions, Uncategorized
People used to talk about work-life balance as if they were two separate things. Now they talk about work-life integration, but what they mean is finding ways to infiltrate every hour of every day with this work that is not really your life. I choose to do things differently. Seems to me that if left to our own devices, people would just spend all day doing what gives us pleasure. Some of that would involve doing things that help other people or make them happy and some would be just for us. Centuries ago, people discovered that different people like doing different things. If you take on a task that I don't enjoy, and I take on a task that you don't enjoy, that leaves both of us more time…
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Signal to Noise Ratios

Signal to Noise Ratios

collaborations, explorations, processes
Back to the science metaphors today. I got to thinking about how radically I have emptied out my schedule this year, and how it's helping me pay attention to things too long ignored. Improving the signal-to-noise ratio, as it were. Right after grad school, I spent three years as a postdoc at Los Alamos National Lab. I was studying the way that surfaces influence the structure of thin coatings, to see if you could set up a surface that could direct a thin film to form with the properties you wanted. In order to pick up any kind of a signal at all on my instruments, I had to start out with substrate materials that had a whole lot of surface area, just to have enough of the thin film…
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Update: If you would just listen to the facts…

collaborations, communications, research enterprise
Janet Raloff, a friend of mine and a senior editor at Science News, has weighed in on the topic of how scientists can communicate effectively with the public on divisive issues such as climate change. In her May 29 online article, Climate skepticism not rooted in science illiteracy, she reports on an interview with Dan Kahan of Yale Law School, one of the authors of the Nature Climate Change article I cited in my previous posting. Raloff explores several approaches to interacting with a polarized public in her May 30 follow-up article, Depolarizing climate science. What comes through most strongly in these articles is that divisions occur when scientific findings have a direct relevance to things that affect us every day, or findings that could make significant changes in our…
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No Scientist is an Island

No Scientist is an Island

collaborations, conference report, research enterprise
The myth of the lone scientist working tirelessly into the night in his converted garage lab is compelling, but fictional (at least over the last 100 or so years), according to the panelists at How to Save America's Knowledge Enterprise, a May 21 symposium sponsored by Future Tense (a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate magazine). Take some of the iconic figures of science and technology: did they work alone? Thomas Edison directed a research laboratory with as many as 200 researchers. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard worked out of a garage, but they were working under a fellowship from Stanford University, under the mentorship of Prof. Frederick Terman. Albert Einstein was on the faculty at Princeton University. The Manhattan Project is remembered in terms…
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