Susan Hogarth (sjhogart at unity.ncsu.edu) wrote:
: A little Devil's Advocate here:
: Diane Carlisle wrote:
: > I occasionally get frustrated talking to other graduate students in labs
: > with lots of money. I know one student that in order to get finished with
: > her project faster, and get her degree, sends much of her work out to be
: > done, and just puts results together. If she needs a Northern, she takes
: > the RNA, buys the probes, and sends it off. Same if she needs a Western,
: > etc. I know that I'm learning more than she is, and (hopefully) this will
: > show later when we're applying for post-docs and beyond.
: Are you *certain* you're learning more than she is? More of the
: *important* things?
I hope so!
Really there are 2 ways to answer this:
1) Troubleshooting an experiment, or figuring out a new protocol
requires that you know the biochemistry, the details of why one buffer
works here and another one doesn't. If you don't know the chemistry,
and just go by what others have done, without knowing why they've done it
that way, you could set up experiments that are flawed from the start.
Knowing the whys and hows is important, and much of that is learned
2) In order to have a successful career as a scientist, how important
is it to learn how to survive on little funding? How many of us will
spend our entire careers in extremely well-funded labs? I could speculate
from what I've heard, but I'm sure that there are women out there more
qualified to answer than I am.
(who doesn't mind playing devil's advocate herself now and then)