Quote from "Prize Fight"

January 10, 2013 | by Nick Snead

Nick SneadI get email alerts showing each Nature journal issue’s table of contents. Typically, I do a quick ctrl+f “rna” to search for anything that might be related to RNAi or siRNA or miRNA. But, now I skim the full table of contents because sometimes they have interesting short articles or perspective pieces.

They also have a Book Review section, and I stumbled upon a review of “Prize Fight: The Race and the Rivalry to be the First in Science” by radiologist Morton Meyers. I borrowed the book from our Duarte branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library and gave it a read. It was not difficult to follow, and I would recommend it. (Both Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com carry it.)

I had an unfortunate graduate school experience before I came to City of Hope, and so I am interested in other peoples’ stories of good and bad graduate school experiences. Particularly, I am curious about different principal investigator-graduate student professional relationships and dynamics, and what efforts our graduate school goes through to get involved or not.

I simply want to share one quote, written by Joceyln Bell, the graduate student who was working in the laboratory of Nobel-prize winning astronomer Anthony Hewish (for technology leading to the discovery of pulsars). Jocelyn Bell was not a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize, which was controversial.

“Demarcation disputes between supervisors and students are always difficult, probably impossible to resolve,” she said.

It leaves me with a slight taste of fatalistic helplessness in my mouth. Yet, I still try to find ways to increase the chances that I will have a good working relationship with colleagues in my future. Thoughts? Comments?

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