Modernizing Science in China

When I was in Beijing in 2008 I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this marvelous chaos that is The Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium.The Chinese Dragon stirs in its slumber. Seeking the opportunity to strike with retribution. The country's economic influence is on a steady rise. Some would say that China is going through what the U.S. went through in the industrial age. The only difference is that China is growing at an incredibly rapid…

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Using Google Trends to See the World’s Scientific Mind.

Preface: While I was writing up my second committee report, I wanted to know whether I should be using the term "actinomycetes" or "actinobacteria" . While most people who are well-read in the literature would intuitively know that "actinomycetes" is used more often than "actinobacteria" (duh.), I needed more empirical evidence (typical for a scientist right?). Now, there were two ways that I thought about doing this. 1.) Scope the literature and compare the usage of the…

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A Comprehensive Guide to Presentating (Pt. 2)

Since people have been tweeting me about my first post about my top 5 presentation tips I thought I'd make a second entry about the ins and outs of what I think would be a tremendously memorable presentation. Now, this is not to say that this is the written in stone as gospel but through trial-and-error and watching scientific grand masters give talks, I have developed a model for presentations that is a sure-fire way of impressing the…

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Thoughts on Uri Alon’s TED talk on Innovative Science

(Video) Uri Alon - Why truly innovative science demands a leap into the unknown.I will keep this short. I found this TED talk truly resonating for many reasons. It touches upon one of the most critical mechanisms of science that almost nobody ever talks about. Alon mentions terms like 'Subjective Emotion' and 'The Cloud' which to me is sometimes like a fog. Similar to the fog of war, we could call it the fog of…

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Top 5 Things to Remember When Presenting

Presenting is a performance. You're up on the stage and you have to deliver. As a graduate student and later on in life you'll be giving presentations all the time and making it count could make or break you. Here are my top 5 tips on how to deliver a great talk:1. Keep it SimpleThis may just be the holy grail of all rules of presenting. Simplicity is the key to delivering a great talk.…

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Simplicity

Steve JobsSteve Jobs was the ultimate modern day minimalist. He epitomized what it means to "boil" something down to its core values down to the essential components. Apple products were simple, yet effective. Much of that was because that's what the public wanted. They didn't want design features up the 'wazoo' with customizable bells and whistles. They wanted 'simple'. They wanted 'easy-to-understand'. I could go on an on about why Steve inspires me to no…

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Failure: An Essential Part of Science

When I entered this so-called world of science, I was told that 95% of my experiments would fail. My inner skeptic came out to question this statistic and you could imagine why. The reason why I was in such disbelief was because most people reading the news or sitting behind their television sets are usually enticed by the excitement that the scientific community experiences when there is a significant discovery. However, these are what we…

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Ownership: The Key to a Successful PhD

Why you should own your work.People obtain passion once they have an undying urge to pursue it without any external push. That is to say, whatever you do in life, do it for yourself. It's a total cliché but it's true. If your PI is your constant source of motivation and ideas you're not going to get that far in the world of science. Sure you may not always have the experience or bravado to…

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The PI Spectrum.

Where does your Principal Investigator (PI)/Supervisor fall on the spectrum? Do you have the one who loves being in the lab all the time? Guiding you through proper technique and showing you the ropes? Or, do you have the one who is never around to the point where you think that they have a crippling fear of being inside of their own lab? Which one is the better one to have? Does your PI watch your…

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