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Everything posted by amarinthal

  1. Yes, you are right. Thank you, CharonY.
  2. I've decided I'm going to keep trying to pursue research. I'm planning on volunteering in a lab more oriented towards my career interests and seeing how it goes before really calling it quits. Both labs didn't have a lot of students that passed through as they either weren't interested in mentoring (the first lab-- it entirely consisted of experienced postdocs), or just started (the second lab, where I was tasked to build it from the ground up). In the scenario where the PI said I was "unmentorable", we had significant communication issues. I had integrated into his lab from a core and was spearheading a project using a technique he wasn't at all familiar with. I didn't know how to talk to him about it as I was a novice and struggled with troubleshooting and he'd get very anxious. Despite my skills, it really was my first real "lab job." What's more, it was a project that had stalled for 2 years, so when I came into the picture and successfully got it moving, the postdoc who I thought I'd been assigned under as it was supposed to eventually be for her project became envious towards me and things got hostile pretty quick. It was bad enough that my PI would humiliate her whenever I showed him data I struggled with, so I was told by everyone in the lab to stop communicating with him. I messed up because I didn't leave that mess of a lab right away like I should have. With regards to the second accusation, I didn't falsify data at all. I was in an entry level position carrying out my PI's orders. I don't understand how I could falsify data when I was doing what the PI had asked. She did state a protocol in the very beginning but changed it along the way due to competing priorities, and so the protocol wasn't followed with high fidelity. I showed her data every step of the way. If there was a "right" way to do it, my PI should have told me. It irks me that the model came out incorrect and my PI did a weird backtracking, scapegoating thing and accused me of something so serious I had to quit to keep my integrity intact. I can only think it's personal; maybe I smell bad. She also had major favoritism issues; she once compared an undergrad who I literally taught how to pipette "comparable to a postdoc." It was bewildering. Both situations seem pretty terrible to me. Like, I'm not sure what more I can do moving forward other than protecting myself against abusive PIs and leaving hostile lab environments ASAP. I don't know why in both situations the labs told me that I should have things published within the year. For once, I'd just like to work in a lab that won't screw me over. And in retrospect, I feel like the main issue was my PIs not being able to manage their own emotions (anxiety or anger); am I supposed to manage their feelings for them; that's ridiculous.
  3. I've hit an impasse in my science career. At first I went into a Biology major as an undergrad for medical school. However, seeing that I had a knack for scientific concepts and often set the curve for numerous classes in my major, I decided to look more seriously into research. My first few research stints were on a volunteer basis, for class credit, or for an undergrad senior thesis. They all turned out well, where I obtained references and poster presentations. The skills I developed eventually landed me a prestigious research fellowship right out of finishing a Master's degree in biomedicine. Sadly, the lab I entered for my fellowship disintegrated, and I was ushered into another lab we were in collaboration with, and the PI wanted me to continue by spearheading the project. Things didn't end great as my project stalled for a year, and I was, in essence, "kicked" out of lab due to personality conflicts. This had never happened to me before, and I was distraught. My PI didn't think I was interested in the research; he said I was "unmentorable" and didn't have the "mind of a scientist." I decided not to take the experience too personally, and I started another lab position as a lab manager/technician. Things started off great. I thought we were making leeway on my project as results were panning out as expected, but after some crucial validation steps we found out that my model was incorrect. The next day, without any warning, I was told that I had been reported to HR by my PI for falsifying data. I was so shocked, and before they could have me sign a consent form, I quit. I feel like science may not be in the cards for me. For some reason, I can't seem to publish within a year and I don't know why. I find it so hard to give up on this career field, but I'm left feeling like I'm too stupid or too different or not cut out for research, or maybe I'm just not lucky enough. What's more, I've become disillusioned with the business of science. I'm wondering if I can get advice from more experienced people in the field who have some mentorship experience-- Would you say I should quit the field of science?
  4. Wondering if I have a learning disability: Every time I repeat something, I have to study it as if it were new. For example, say I'm taking an advanced level biology course. The course usually starts with a very brief introduction of biology foundations previously studied in earlier courses. Nonetheless, I will still study with the same attention and detail as if I were learning the foundational material for the first time. Or, say I am going to repeat a protocol for an experiment, I still follow the protocol from beginning to end regardless of the fact that I've repeated the protocol at least a dozen times within, say, a few months. I also find that I'm very prone to introducing "new variables" into a repeated protocol if I don't rigidly follow a step-by-step. Is this normal? Why does everything feel so "new" to me?
  5. I'm applying for USA PhD programs next fall. However, I can't decide which field I'd like to specialize in. Would anyone happen to know which field would meet the following criteria?-- 1. I'm interested in the mind. I find human beings, most notably their brains, the most fascinating. I am not interested in pursuing just psychology, and I admit I'm turned off to the field due to the replication crisis, and because I'd at least want to know the biological and chemical underpinnings behind the observed behavior. 2. I need a job that can get me going in the industry, since I need to make money, preferably in a 6-figure salary range so I can buy a reasonable house in these parts of the world (USA). Does anyone have any advice, suggestions? Which scientific specialty(ies) would meet the above criteria?
  6. All challenges require the ability to abstract and process pertinent information, as examples. Between individuals, people do this to varying degrees. IQ is not a good predictor of success. In fact, qualities that predict success such as conscientiousness are regarded as separate from IQ. Take the hypothetical scenario of a job that emphasizes creativity. Creativity and IQ are regarded as discrete with tools of measurement not identical. Yet, at a certain threshold of IQ that is relatively the same between individuals, creativity varies where the more creative individual in this scenario wins out. To some degree the hierarchy of society is a reflection of nature. Take society out of the equation to examine the individual in nature, and you'd see that there are undeniable discrepancies in terms of survival. This is assuming that intelligence was a "selected-for" trait to give homo sapiens an edge in species survival. I think your line of reasoning is incorrect. I'd point you to the direction of understanding a neuropsychologist's definition of "intelligence" first, since they do perform the official cognitive assessments that measure IQ. IQ is correlated to our current understanding of intelligence. You might wonder why this is necessary, and the answer is that the value lies in argument.
  7. Reality is not what it seems by Rovelli Road to reality by Penrose Reductionism in art and brain science by Kandel
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