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a morale question in scientific community

Jack jack at nowhere.edu
Wed Feb 25 05:03:54 EST 2004


I have a morale question. I apologize if this question offends some people.

I am a postdoc in a research university in US. I extremely like my 
research and I am fully capable to work alone. However, I cannot pay 
enough attention to my project. I have been always bothered by the 
american master degree students in the lab, because somehow they dislike 
me or the other. I am a foreigner. I consider myself polite, middle 
level considerate. I am not an expert for socializing in US but I am a 
nice person. The question in my mind is, why some people are willing to 
spend >90% of his energy/time to bother other people instead 
working/enjoying the research which he claims to be his goal, which is 
also for his future income. They can sacrifice all these just to make 
somebody they dislike unhappy and consequently themselves happy.

Before I came to US, I thought americans are hard-working for success, 
straight, easy to get along. I have been US for more than ten years and 
received my PhD degree here. My oberservation is generally a person 
spends >40% brain energy on how to get along with people around. ALMOST 
EVERYBODY in the lab work in some kind of mood, one way or the other, 
with a strong sense of self-defense. Scientific research is an 
intellectual activity. There would not be any REAL progress with such 
mood in a person's mind except generating data and etc.

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