On Vulnerability In Art And Science Communication

Fingerpainting at its finest – I loved the swirling textures I was able to produce in this set of waves enough to snap a quick photo of it.

My closet is organized in a color spectrum, as are my books, and more strangely, my cleaning products. My spreadsheets march in rainbow precision, as do my (many) calendars. I once actually uttered the phrase, “My contingency planning is a thing of beauty.” I desperately want to package a tidy story. Put everything neatly into place. Make it pretty. Make it precise. That’s what I do. But I’ve been home from my trip to Arizona for 28 hours now, and I don’t know yet exactly how I feel or what, precisely, I have learned. Instead, this is a story about letting go. [Read more…]

2/22/13 Link Round-Up

Photo courtesy of 'Ravages' via Flickr.

It’s been an eventful week at COMPASS! With some of the team at ASLO, others at AAAS, and still others preparing for upcoming trainings and talks – we’ve been busy building networks, talking shop with old friends, and creating new material. We’re also continuing to follow the how the #scio13 hive mind has built momentum since the event a few weeks ago, and then tracking wind-down from all of the excitement surrounding #AAASmtg. Perhaps we’ll even see more musings from the lucky who were able to attend both, like this post by Christie Wilcox (that also mentions our very own Liz Neeley!). In the meantime, here’s a few other things that were on our radar this week: [Read more…]

2/15/13 Link Round-Up

Photo courtesy of 'Ravages' via Flickr.

It has now been a little bit less than two weeks since the end of the ScienceOnline conference, and the attendees have since moved on to cover other happenings and events.  I’m learning that a unique aspect of the energy and thinking sparked at Science Online is that the ideas and conversation often strengthen in the weeks and months following. No doubt that energy will flow into this week’s AAAS meeting, where many ScienceOnline attendees are now in Boston including several of our own COMPASS members… they are preparing to lead and moderate sessions, live tweeting, and joining colleagues new and old for dinner or drinks (if you’re on Twitter, follow #AAASmtg – trending as we type! – and our COMPASS attendees at @LizNeeley, @KOMcleod, @ChadEnglish, and @GoldmanE). Below we have rounded up some of the continued thinking from ScienceOnline, as well as some other advice on science communication, funding, and more.   [Read more…]

Navigating Forks In The Science Career Road

Sometimes the relationship between advisor and student is more similar to parent/child than student/teacher. To leave the path of straight academia that the advisor chose for themselves can be alienating.

The realization that I might not want a traditional career in academic science started as a slight nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. I didn’t want it to be true. After all, I had already invested so much in academia. And, more importantly, many eminent scientists throughout my undergraduate and graduate training had already invested so much in me. How could I let them down? [Read more…]

Scientists Weigh In: Impostor Syndrome In A Silo-Busting World

Embracing difference (in this case, naiveté in a specialty) may help you see the forest for the trees.  Photo courtesy of torremountain via Flickr.

When Brooke first shared the news that we were going to spend the next 9 to 12 months exploring what an expanded scope for COMPASS might look like, I reacted with a mix of “wow – just think of the possibilities!” and “holy s#$%!”

The terrified part of me was wrestling with impostor syndrome. There’s a palpable buzz about this phenomenon on Twitter and in the blogosphere, among scientists and beyond. In a nutshell, it’s that nagging fear that we don’t know enough (everyone else knows more!), we’re a phony, a fraud … and sooner or later we’ll be found out. You can learn more in Josh Drew’s recent lecture for graduate students at Columbia University. [Read more…]