“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham
I was reading The Antidote – an excellent book on negative thinking, stoicism and the bankruptcy of self-help; via this post on the New Yorker – and I stumbled onto a paper by the psychologist Kevin Dunbar on how science is made.
It’s an illuminating read. Dunbar followed 4 molecular biology lab for a year, reading paper drafts, sitting in on lab meetings, and generally tracking the progress of the science and the morale of the troops.
Of course, the quality of the work being done in a lab is partially determined by the quality of the scientists involved and the amount of work being put in. In addition, however, there are human dynamics that affect the quality of science being made.
What I found particularly interesting is the idea that perseverance at the individual level needs to be counteracted by collaborative…
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